Youssef Shaaban

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Shaaban, an editor and reporter for the independent news website Al-Bedaiah, was arrested when he appeared in court for an appeal hearing, according to Khaled al-Balshy, editor-in-chief of Al-Bedaiah and a board member of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate.

The appellate court in the city of Alexandria on May 31, 2015, confirmed the February conviction of the editor and sentenced him to 15 months in prison, according to news reports. Shaaban had been convicted in February, along with nine activists, on charges of assaulting police officers and attempting to storm a police station, the reports said. All of them denied the allegation and said the police officer had assaulted them, according to news reports. They were released on bail pending appeal, according to news reports.

The charges stemmed from a March 29, 2013, protest that Shaaban was covering at an Alexandria police station against the alleged police assault of a lawyer, according to Al-Bedaiah. The lawyer was representing defendants who were accused of burning the local headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to news reports. Shaaban was briefly detained while covering the protest.

Al-Balshy told CPJ that Shaaban would appeal at the Court of Cassation, which would be his last legal resort. The editor said he, his outlet, and the syndicate would ask the prosecutor general to release Shaaban until that court heard his case. Al-Balshy told CPJ that Shaaban has Hepatitis C and requires medical attention.

An Alexandria appellate court repeatedly refused Shaaban’s requests to be released until his appeal is heard in the Court of Cassation. The hearing had not been scheduled in late 2015.

Shaaban is at Burg Al-Arab prison, in Alexandria, according to news reports.