Shimaa Samy

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Egyptian freelance journalist Shimaa Samy is detained on charges of joining a terrorist organization, spreading false news, and misusing social media. 

Samy most recently contributed to the local news website Darb on April 28, where she criticized the government’s pretrial detention of political prisoners, including journalist Alaa Abdelfattah, in a column. She also contributed to the now-defunct blog Fakr Tany, according to her lawyer, Nabih el-Ganadi. (Darb has been blocked in Egypt and was inaccessible there as of late 2020.) 

Samy was working as a researcher at the regional rights group the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) until March 2020, according to local news website Darb

On May 20, officers arrested Samy at her home in Alexandria and held her incommunicado for 10 days, according to el-Ganadi, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app at the time. On May 30, the state prosecutor’s office charged her with joining a terrorist organization, spreading false news, and misusing social media, according to ANHRI and local rights group Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression, and Darb

Prosecutors have repeatedly extended Samy’s pretrial detention period by 15 days, without her presence or the presence of her lawyer, including on September 20, according to ANHRI and Darb. CPJ was unable to determine what of Samy’s journalistic work may have drawn the attention of authorities. 

As of September 30, CPJ could not determine the status of Samy’s health in prison. 

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 Samy in September 2020.