Freelance photographer Khaled Sahloob was arrested in January 2014 and served a three-year sentence on anti-state and terrorism charges. He was due for release in 2017 but remains in prison facing additional terrorism charges in a separate case.
Sahloob is a freelance photographer who most recently contributed to regional independent news website Rassd and Al-Jazeera English, an affiliate of Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, according to news reports, a statement by Al-Jazeera, and a family member of Sahloob who spoke with CPJ via messaging app on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
On January 2, 2014, Sahloob was riding in a taxi in the Mokatam neighborhood of Cairo when police officers stopped the taxi, checked Sahloob’s ID, searched him, and arrested him after they found a camera with him, the family member told CPJ. Four days later, authorities transferred him to a maximum prison facility in Cairo’s Tora Prison Complex, and ordered his detention pending trial, according to Rassd and the family member.
On June 24, 2014, a Cairo court sentenced Sahloob to seven years in prison after convicting him of membership in a terrorist group that was founded for the purpose of obstructing the rule of law and the constitution and spreading false news to harm national unity and societal peace, according to the family member, and court documents which CPJ reviewed.
On August 29, 2015, an appeals court in Cairo reduced Sahloob’s prison sentence to three years, according to those sources. In the same month, authorities opened a new case against Sahloob and filed additional terrorism charges alleging that he committed acts harmful to national unity and security even though he was in custody in the period in question, according to news reports, and the same family member.
Authorities ordered Sahloob’s release in 2017 after he finished his reduced three-year prison sentence in the first case, but prosecutors overturned this release order on the basis that he is still under investigation in the second case, according to news reports and the family member.
Sahloob’s trial for the second case is scheduled to start on January 30, 2022, according to the family member, who believes the journalist is being punished for his work with Al-Jazeera, which has been outlawed in Egypt since 2013. Anti-state convictions in Egypt can carry a range of sentences depending on the ruling, including life in prison and even death, according to the Egyptian penal code.
Sahloob is held in a maximum security facility in the Tora Prison Complex in Cairo, where he suffers from a dislocated shoulder and a fractured collarbone that have not been treated since 2014, and severe back and knee pain, according to news reports and the family member. The family member said that the journalist is not receiving medical care in prison.
Sahloob was not previously listed on CPJ’s annual prison census because CPJ was unaware of his case until 2021.
The Ministry of Interior, which oversees the police, the prison system, and the prosecutor general’s office, did not answer CPJ’s emails requesting comment on Sahloob’s case in November 2021.