Last Update 23:0
Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Human Rights Watch condemns 'disturbing' arrest of Egyptian journalist Ismail Alexandrani

The US-based rights group says Ismail Alexandrani's detention is illegal

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Dec 2015
Egyptian journalist Ismail Alexandrani
Snapshot from ON TV shows Egyptian journalist Ismail Alexandrani during an interview (Photo: ON TV)
Views: 1904
Views: 1904

Human Rights Watch has called for the immediate release of Egyptian journalist Ismail Alexandrani, who was arrested at Hurghada airport on Sunday and later charged with “spreading false news.”

The US-based rights group called Alexandrani's arrest “disturbing”

“The arrest of Ismail [Alexandrani] is deeply disturbing and fits a pattern of Egyptian security agencies arresting people whose writings don’t conform to official views,” said Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director, in a statement on Tuesday.

Alexandrani, a prominent journalist and an expert on militant groups in Sinai, was arrested after arriving at Hurghada airport from Germany. On Tuesday prosecutors ordered him to be detained for 15 days pending investigation into charges of "broadcasting false news," judicial sources said.

Alexandrani is known for his criticism of the role of the military in Egyptian politics. 

According to the HRW statement, lawyers engaged by Alexandrani's family and Egyptian rights groups said that he had faced lengthy questioning at the Cairo's State Security office on Tuesday.

A judicial source had said he was charged with "belonging to an illegal organisation," in reference to the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, and of spreading "false news aiming at damaging the national interest and disturbing the public peace."

HRW said Alexandrian's detention appears to violate Egyptian law and the country's charter which ban arbitrary detention or arrest without "reasoned judicial order."

“If [Alexandrani] had any arrest warrant or official charges, he should have been informed immediately,” Stork said. “What happened to him is clear intimidation and has little to do with rule of law.”

Alexandrani's arrest comes three weeks after the military detained prominent rights activist and investigative reporter Hossam Bahgat for two days, also on charges including "spreading false news."

Bahgat, who writes for independent local website Mada Masr, had authored an article about the prosecution of a group of military officers for allegedly plotting a coup d'etat.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.