Egyptian freelance photographer Khaled Sahloob is serving a 15-year prison sentence after being convicted on terrorism charges in June 2022. 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 was kept in prison on additional terrorism charges in a separate case.
Sahloob is a freelance photographer who contributed to regional independent news website Rassd and Al-Jazeera English, an affiliate of Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, according to a statement by Al-Jazeera and a family member of Sahloob, who spoke with CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.
On January 2, 2014, Sahloob was riding in a taxi in the Mokatam neighborhood of Cairo when police officers stopped the car, 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 the Scorpion maximum security facility of the Tora Prison Complex in Cairo 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 of spreading false news to harm national unity and societal peace, according to the family member and court documents reviewed by CPJ.
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 the same family member and reports by Geneva-based human rights organization MENA Rights Group and Al-Jazeera.
Authorities ordered Sahloob’s release in 2017, after he finished the reduced three-year prison sentence in the first case, but prosecutors overturned that release order on the basis that he was still under investigation in the second case, according to those sources.
On June 28, 2022, the South Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Sahloob to 15 years in prison in the second terrorism case, according to Geneva-based rights group Committee for Justice.
Sahloob, who is held in a maximum security facility in the Tora Prison Complex, suffers from a dislocated shoulder and fractured collarbone, which have not been treated since 2014, as well as severe back and knee pain, according to Al-Jazeera and the family member. The family member said that the journalist was not receiving medical care in prison.
Sahloob’s family has not been able to visit him in the last five years, according to the Committee for Justice.
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 late 2023.