Human Rights

Egypt: detention of two journalists for more than two years

Lawyer for the “Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms”, today, Thursday, that the Criminal Court in Cairo decided to renew the detention of a number of defendantspending case No. 441 of 2018 restricting state security, and the decision included journalists Hassan Al-Banna Mubarak and Mustafa Al-Aasar, as well as Khaled Mohamed Suwaidan and Ahmed Abu Zaid , Ahmed Ali Marwan, Mahinur Mohamed Abdel Salam, and Mostafa Mohamed Shehata.

On February 4, journalists Hassan Al-Banna Mubarak and Mustafa Al-Aasar completed two years of pretrial detention, which necessitates their immediate release.

Fabricated charges

The defendants in Case 441 face charges of “participating with a terrorist group in the knowledge of its aims, and misusing a social media tool to spread false news and rumors.”

Egypt: detention of two journalists for more than two years

On February 4, 2018, security forces arrested Al-Asar and Al-Banna, and forcibly disappeared for two weeks, according to their families, who submitted reports to the Public Prosecutor demanding that their fate be revealed and the reason for their disappearance.

Collective arrests

Al-Banna and Al-Asr were arrested in conjunction with a security attack in early 2018, months before the presidential elections in Egypt.

They were subjected to enforced disappearance until February 15, 2018, when they appeared in the State Security Prosecution in connection with case No. 441 of 2018 restricting state security.

In addition to Al-Banna and Al-Aasar, case 441 of 2018 includes journalists and other opinion-holders, among them: Adel Sabry (editor-in-chief of the Arab Egypt site), journalist Moataz and Danan, and attorney Ezzat Ghoneim.

The activist also included Wael Abbas, the journalist Shurooq Amjad, and the photojournalist Abd Al-Rahman Al-Ansari, but they were lucky and got precautionary measures as a substitute for pre-trial detention.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information monitored the continuation of detention pending state security cases, which exceeded 1500 cases during 2019, and most of the time it is not referred to the judiciary, but the renewal of remand detention continues during the legal period (two years) as legalization of political detention, and in some cases exceeded Legal detention.

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