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Egypt's state security prosecution renews detention for Mada media foundation director

Hana Afifi , Tuesday 17 Nov 2015
Hisham Jafar
Director for Mada Foundation for Media Development Hisham Jafar was arrested on October 21. (Photo: Courtesy of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information website)
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Egypt's supreme state security prosecution renewed on Monday 15 days of detention, pending probe, for journalist and director of Mada Foundation for Media Development Hisham Jafar, according to a statement by the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

Jafar is accused of belonging to an unlawful group that aims to sabotage state institutions while receiving international funds.

Two of ANHRI's Legal Support Unit, Karim Abdel Rady and Abdullah Tantawi, are representing Jafar in the case. ANHRI is a non-governmental organisation that reports on human rights in the Middle East.

"There is intransigence and violation of the law in dealing with Hisham Jafar," ANHRI's founder and executive director Gamal Eid told Ahram Online.

The lawyers were only able to attend the investigation with Jafar, but were not allowed to sit with their defendant before or after it, Eid said.

The prosecution did not allow the lawyers to review the case documents and the report, according to the statement. The information was provided by the prosecution verbally, Eid said.

Medication was reportedly not allowed in for Jafar, who suffers from a number of conditions including heart disease.

Security forces raided Mada Foundation's headquarters on October 21, sealed it with red wax, and arrested Jafar, who was taken to an unknown location, according to earlier statements by ANHRI. He went missing for four days, Eid told Ahram Online.

On 28 October, the prosecution issued a decision to detain Jafar and on 2 November his detention was renewed for 15 days. On 16 November, Jafar’s detention was renewed yet again, ANHRI stated.

Egyptian law stipulates a maximum pre-trial detention period of two years, except for cases where a death penalty or a life sentence was given and the case is being appealed. For those two cases, pre-trial detention can be renewed indefinitely.

Jafar is currently incarcerated at Aqrab prison in the Tora prison complex.

One of Mada Foundation's main projects is OnIslam.net, which was launched in 2011 and is run by journalists who formerly worked for IslamOnline, which had to shut down its Egypt office the previous year, according to Aswat Masriya.

Jafar is a member of the journalists' syndicate. His latest work includes co-research on the law in Upper Egypt and on parliamentary elections.

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