Salah was arrested while covering student protests at Al-Azhar University in the Nasr City neighborhood of Cairo on December 27, 2013, according to the opposition news website El- Shaab el-Jadeed.
Salah, who was 19 at the time of his arrest, was a photojournalist in training with El-Shaab el-Jadeed and was pursuing a degree in media studies at Egypt University for Science and Technology in Cairo, according to his outlet and the regional group Arab Network for Human Rights.
Salah wrote several reportsfor El-Shaab el-Jadeed and took photographs of anti-government protests in November 2013 around Nasr City and other parts of Cairo. El-Shaab el-Jadeed is critical of the current Egyptian government. Magdy Hussein, who was El-Shaab el-Jadeed’s editor-in-chief at the time, called for demonstrations in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In February 2014, a Cairo criminal court sentenced Salah to five years in prison on charges of illegal demonstrations and inciting violence, according to local human rights groups and his news outlet. At least 22 others were convicted in the same trial.
In court documents, the judge wrote that he was not convinced that Salah was a journalist, despite the presentation by Salah’s defense lawyer of documents and ID cardsindicating his training with El-Shaab el-Jadeed, according to the regional group Arab Network for Human Rights Information.
On March 18, 2014, a higher court amended Salah’s sentence to three years in prison, a sentence which he cannot appeal, according to his outlet. Local rights organizations and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate called for a pardon for Salah.
An injunction filed by Salah’s defense lawyers against his sentence was rejected by a Cairo court on May 10, 2014, according to his outlet.
CPJ was unable to determine Salah’s health status or whereabouts. CPJ’s calls in late 2015 to El-Shaab el-Jadeed were not answered.
CPJ did not include Salah on its 2014 prison census because CPJ was unable to determine at the time if his imprisonment was in connection with his journalistic work. Salah was included in CPJ’s mid-2015 special census of journalists imprisoned in Egypt.