Egyptian journalist Mostafa Mohamed Saad has been held in pretrial detention in Cairo on terrorism and false news charges since 2019.
Saad is a senior cameraman for Qatari broadcasting network Al-Jazeera, where he covered regional culture and political news. Over the past 10 years, Saad has worked as a camera operator for Egyptian and regional news and entertainment networks including Dream TV, ART, Orbit, Sada al-Balad, Modern Sport, and ONTV, according to a news report by local Egyptian independent news website Darb and a local Egyptian journalist who is following the case and spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.
On November 8, 2019, Egyptian security forces arrested at Cairo International Airport upon his return from Doha, Qatar, where he lives, according to those sources. Saad was charged with spreading false news, which can carry a five-year sentence according to Egypt’s penal code, and belonging to a terrorist group, which can carry a life sentence.
Saad, who also holds Turkish citizenship, is held in Abu Zaabal Prison outside Cairo, according to the same sources.
According to a report in Darb, which includes excerpts from a letter Saad sent to the Presidential Pardon Committee requesting a pardon, the journalist is suffering from stenosis in both the right and left coronary arteries as well as deafness in his right ear. He also suffers from third-degree hemorrhoids that require surgical intervention, which he said is not available in prison.
Saad was previously detained in October 2015 at Cairo airport, while he was about to travel to London on a student visa.
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 Saad’s case in late 2023.