Photojournalist Eslam Mosadaq is one of several journalists detained as part of a mass trial. As of mid-October 2019, Egypt had charged over 3,690 people with membership in a banned group, spreading false news, and misusing social media platforms to disrupt national security, the local non-governmental organization, Egyptian Center for Economic & Social Rights, reported. His arrest came as the government cracked down on protests over army corruption that included calls for President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to resign, according to news reports.
Mosadaq, a video journalist at the privately owned television channel CBC, covers cultural and human-interest stories. Previously, he worked for the local privately owned outlets al-Masry al-Youm, al-Tahrir, Masrawy and Extra News, according to his Facebook page.
National Security Forces arrested Mosadaq at his Cairo home on September 25, 2019, and detained him in an unknown location for six days, according to Facebook posts by press freedom advocate Khaled el-Bashly and the journalist’s mother, Madga Ibrahem.
Mosadaq is charged with membership in a banned group, spreading false news, and misusing social media platforms to disrupt national security, according to local groups and a Facebook post by el-Bashly.
On September 30, state security prosecutors ordered Mosadaq to remain in pretrial detention for 15 days until further investigations could take place, according to Facebook post by Ibrahem and el-Bashly. The journalist did not have a lawyer present during the hearing, according to the posts.
Some lawyers and pro-government media in Egypt say that national security prosecutors can repeatedly renew detention periods until a trial begins.
As of late 2019, the Ministry of Interior, which has oversight of the police and prison system, and the prosecutor general’s office had not answered CPJ’s emails requesting comment.