Egypt police free journalists held in raid on news outlet

Cairo (AFP) – Police in Egypt have released three news editors detained on Sunday in a swoop on local news outlet Mada Masr, the independent organisation said on its website.

The publication posted on social media that will nine plain-clothed officers raided their Cairo office as well as questioned journalists there for several hours, demanding that will they unlock their phones as well as laptops as well as hand them over.

Three journalists including chief editor Lina Attallah were arrested, however released later coming from Dokki police station.

A journalist at Mada Masr confirmed the Discharge of those held as well as said they had spent only about 10 minutes at the police station before being freed.

Sunday’s raid came at around 1:30 pm (11:30 GMT), a day after Shady Zalat, 37, a news editor who has worked at the prominent website since 2014, was arrested coming from his home.

The Mada Masr Twitter feed reported Zalat’s Discharge on Sunday at around the time the some other journalists were being detained.

Mada Masr publishes investigations into corruption as well as security issues in both Arabic as well as English.

the item published a controversial article last week alleging that will President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s son Mahmoud would likely be transferred to Moscow on a diplomatic posting.

His reassignment coming from a senior intelligence post in Egypt came after he had been criticised within the security apparatus, Mada Masr reported.

The article, citing unnamed Emirati as well as Egyptian officials, gave details about the country’s security agencies at a time when press freedoms are shrinking within the Arab world’s most populous nation.

AFP asked the Inner surface ministry to comment however none was forthcoming.

Another Mada Masr journalist, speaking coming from outside the news site’s building at the time of raid, described seeing several vehicles belonging to the security forces.

He was met by plainclothes police officers at the entrance of the building.

– Many journalists jailed –

“They initially prevented me coming from entering, then they took me up to the sixth floor where the office is usually. We knocked on the door as well as I saw my colleagues for a fraction of a second,” he said.

“A policeman, also plain-clothed, said we don’t want anyone coming or going as well as I was let go,” he added.

Mada Masr is usually one of hundreds of websites to have been blocked by Egyptian authorities in recent years. the item can be accessed domestically only via a virtual private network (VPN) app.

During the raid, the website live-tweeted the latest developments to its growing international audience.

Mada Masr said two foreign editors who worked there — a Briton as well as an American — were also escorted coming from the building.

They were taken to their homes within the capital to collect their passports ahead of deportation however were later released, the item said.

Two France 24 journalists on the premises to interview Mada Masr’s Attallah were also arrested.

“We asked why we were detained however no one answered,” Eric de Lavarene, one of the France 24 reporters, told AFP. He said he had had time to alert the French embassy of his arrest.

They were let go with some other Mada journalists after security forces left the premises.

Lawyers outside the building were denied entry to speak with the journalists.

Rights groups regularly accuse Sisi’s regime of crushing dissent as well as repressing its political opponents.

Amnesty International condemned Sunday’s raid as well as called on the government to “refrain coming from punishing journalists for doing their legitimate work”.

The European Union asked for a more conducive environment for journalists to report freely “without fearing harassment, in line with the Egyptian Constitution as well as Egypt’s international obligations”.

Egypt jails more journalists than any some other country behind China as well as Turkey, according to the brand-new York-based watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

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