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Egypt's prosecution issues arrest order for press syndicate official Khaled El-Balshy

El-Balshy says a case was brought against him over statements he has made on social media that allegedly insulted the police

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Apr 2016
Khaled El-Balshy
Khaled El-Balshy (Photo: Courtesy of Khaled El-Balshy Facebook)
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Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the arrest of one of the press syndicate's leading officials on charges including "insulting the police."

Khaled El-Balshy, the head of the syndicate's Freedoms Committee, said the office of the prosecutor-general had issued an arrest warrant for him relating to his statements on social media.

"I only learned about the decision to arrest me when they [the police] arrived at my house in Menoufiya to uphold it," El-Balshy told Ahram Online by phone, explaining that he is currently in Cairo.

The decision comes after a legal advisor to Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar filed a legal complaint against El-Balshy, accusing him of "libel and slander" against the ministry and of "insulting the police” and “calling for the disturbing of public order and the overthrow of the regime."

El-Balshy, who is editor-in-chief of independent news website Al-Bedaiah, is known for advocating democracy and supporting freedom of speech and expression.

"If they want to arrest me I'm in my office, I'm not better than those who are jailed," he said on his Facebook account. 

Evidence against the veteran journalist and rights activist includes video footage as well as screen shots of his tweets and Facebook posts, Al-Bedaiah reported.

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