Mosad Al-Barbary

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Al-Barbary, the administrative manager of Misr 25, a TV channel affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested in Beirut, where he had gone to reopen and manage another satellite station, Ahrar 25, on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hazem Ghorab, Misr 25’s general manager, told CPJ. The Egyptian government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization.

Ahrar 25 operated from Lebanon from September 2013 to February 2014 but faced several disruptions before being finally removed from the air because of pressure from neighboring governments, according to news reports citing Islam Akl, a host at the station.

Al-Barbary was arrested near Rafik Hariri airport while he was waiting for the arrival of Mokhtar al-Ashry, head of the legal department of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to news reports. Al-Ashry was detained first and, when Al-Barbary inquired about him with airport authorities, he was also arrested. Both were detained for five days by Lebanese national security, under a request by the Egyptian government, then were deported to Cairo with Egyptian security agents, the reports said. Lebanese authorities said Al-Barbary had been extradited based on a bilateral extradition treaty between the countries, according to news reports. Ahrar TV staff members fled Lebanon after Al-Barbary was arrested, according to reports.

Upon their arrival in Cairo on April 7, Al-Ashry was charged with using a false passport, news reports said.

Al-Barbary was charged with “publishing false news” in order to support the Brotherhood’s alleged operations room during the dispersal of the August 2013 sit-in at Raba’a Al-Adawiya in Cairo, where Egyptians had gathered to protest the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. The dispersal left hundreds dead, according to news reports. Al-Barbary was also charged with “spreading chaos” and “forming an operations room to direct the Muslim Brotherhood to defy the government” during the dispersal.

Al-Barbary was tried along with 50 other defendants, including prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, who faced similar charges. Al-Barbary’s lawyer, Mahmoud Amer, told CPJ that Al-Barbary was added to the Raba’a operations room case after it was referred to court in March 2014.

On April 11, 2015, a Cairo criminal court sentenced Al-Barbary to life in prison. Life sentences in Egypt are 25 years long, and can be appealed, according to news reports. The Egyptian Court of Cassation accepted the request for an appeal on December 3, 2015, according to news reports. The retrial was ongoing in late 2016.

Al-Barbary is being held at Tora prison.