On Sunday evening, Mada Masr news website reported that the editor-in-chief, Lina Atallah, was released by a decision from the Egyptian Prosecution.
The site, through his account on “Twitter”, “The Maadi Prosecution (an area south of the capital, Cairo) investigated Lina Atallah this evening after her arrest at noon in front of Tora Prison Complex (south of the capital).”
The Egyptian authorities have arrested the editor-in-chief of the independent Mada Egypt website, which has been subjected to a campaign of arrests, raids and a previous ban.
According to the Mada Masr Egypt statement, the authorities arrested Lina Atallah after an interview with the mother of imprisoned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah outside Tora prison.
The site said that authorities detained her for interrogation before the prosecution on Monday.
Mada Masr website published on Facebook: “The arrest of the editor-in-chief of Mada Misr, Lina Atallah, and we hold the authorities responsible for her safety, and we demand her immediate and unconditional release.”
Atallah’s arrest drew widespread criticism from journalists and press freedom advocates on social media.
“Lina Atallah’s courage and leadership during the most difficult times has inspired journalists across the region. And her detention should be very worrying to anyone who cares about freedom of the press,” said Louisa Lovelock, director of the Washington Post office in Baghdad.
Earlier in November 2019, Egyptian authorities arrested Lina Atallah and other editors, when Egyptian forces raided the offices of Mada Egypt, detained the employees and confiscated the equipment.
Journalists describe the Mada Masr website as “the last free press website” in Egypt, where it publishes reports and investigations critical of the Egyptian government. The website has been blocked inside Egypt.
In the same context, the Egyptian authorities arrested the journalist Haitham Hassan Mahjoub this week, and detained him for allegedly spreading false news and financing a terrorist group.
“While some governments worldwide pardon prisoners during the time of Covid-19, Egypt is determined to keep its prisons full of journalists instead of letting them cover the pandemic and other news events freely,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Sherif Mansour.