| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Egypt journalists call for release of political prisoners

Egyptian Journalists Syndicate called for the release of all political prisoners. I n an official note, the Syndicate called on the country’s public prosecutor, the attorney general and the administration of the western Cairo Tora prison to free their colleague Hisham Fouad, who they said has been on a hunger strike for two weeks.

“Egyptian authorities must urgently intervene to provide the necessary health care to Fouad and save his life from danger,” they said.

The syndicate called for Fouad, Hossam Moanis and others to be released as they have already spent the maximum “two years in pretrial detention.”

“The continued illegal imprisonment of Fouad and his colleagues endangers their survival after more than two weeks on hunger strike,” the statement warned.

CPJ said that journalists are often beaten and abused during their detention.

“The arrests of journalists in Egypt are often violent and involve beatings, abuse, and raids of their homes and confiscation of their property. Their prison cells are often unclean and overcrowded,” the report said. “In letters from prison, some journalists wrote that they often do not see sunlight for weeks; others described the torture of prisoners, including the use of electric shocks.”

The CPJ report said detained journalists have often gone missing for periods of time and their whereabouts are unknown to lawyers or family members.

“Their court hearings sometimes take place without notice to the journalist or lawyers. Other times, prison authorities refuse to allow the journalist to attend the court hearing or sentencing.”

The group went on to say that Egyptian authorities were using the pretext of national security to crack down on human rights, including press freedoms