Left: Egyptian journalists Solafa Magdy and Hossam el-Sayyad reunite with their family after being released from prison. (Credit withheld) Right: Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan at his home following his release from prison in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 14. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Some much-needed good news: Journalists released in Turkey and Egypt after years behind bars

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Some long-overdue good news. After several painful years behind bars, three journalists imprisoned in Turkey and Egypt are finally free and reunited with their families. On Wednesday, it was announced that Egyptian journalists Solafa Magdy and Hossam el-Sayyad were released, after having been imprisoned since November 2019. Separately, in Turkey, prominent journalist Ahmet Altan was released from prison on Wednesday, where he has been behind bars for over four years.

As protests in Minnesota continue following the police killing of Black civilian Daunte Wright, CPJ is deeply concerned by the use of less-lethal weapons, such as rubber bullets and tear gas, by law enforcement. “Reporters covering these events—which are of great public interest—should be able to do so without fear of injury or arrest,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna.

Global press freedom updates

  • Veteran crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz shot and killed in Greece
  • Russian law enforcement raid apartment, interrogate journalist Roman Anin Separately, Russian RFE/RL journalist Daria Komarova faces three trials over protest coverage
  • Cameroonian journalist Emmanuel Mbombog Mbog Matip detained since August 2020
  • Vietnam detains journalist Nguyen Hoai Nam for alleged anti-state crimes
  • Journalists detained, attacked while covering Kyrgyzstan referendum vote
  • Brazilian journalist Diego Santos receives envelope with threat and bullets
  • Police detain Ghanaian journalist David Tamakloe overnight in relation to ‘false news’ complaint
  • Car used by Georgian broadcaster Formula TV vandalized
  • Masked men ransack Epoch Times printer in Hong Kong
  • Tunisian police raid TAP news agency to enforce appointment of pro-government director
  • Malawi police question journalist Watipaso Mzungu over article calling president ‘a joker’


Globally, journalists still face the consequences of pandemic-related press crackdowns. In Bangladesh, cartoonist Kabir Kishore has been charged under Bangladesh’s Digital Security Act, accused of spreading rumors and misinformation about the pandemic on Facebook. Kishore was also held in police custody for several months, and physically abused by authorities.

In response, last Friday The Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership published a message from CPJ calling on Bangladeshi authorities to drop all charges against Kishore. Last month, CPJ also sent a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calling for investigations into the death in custody of Bangladeshi writer Mushtaq Ahmed and into the alleged torture Ahmed and Kishore faced. Stand with CPJ in calling for an end to these ridiculous charges and let authorities know that #JournalismIsNotACrime.

There’s still time to RSVP and join CPJ on April 21, 9:30 a.m. EDT, for the exciting launch of the Reuters Photojournalism Gallery at CPJ’s New York headquarters. RSVP for the event here.

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