Last Update 22:20
Saturday, 12 June 2021

Journalists call for detained colleague Youssef Shaaban's release

Human rights lawyer Maheinour El-Masry is also detained pending retrial in the 2013 "Raml police station" case

Ahram Online , Monday 25 May 2015
Youssef - Mahienour
Youssef Shaaban and Mahienour El-Masry

The Front for Defending Journalists and Freedoms have called for the release of journalist Youssef Shaaban, detained since May 11 in relation to the appeal to a case in which he was accused of "attacking" an Alexandria police station in 2013.

Shaaban and nine others are currently awaiting retrail in the "Raml police station" case, after an initial sentence to 20 years in prison in February, on charges of "protesting without authorisation", "storming" Alexandria's Raml police station, "damaging property" and "injuring policemen" on March 29, 2013.

The defendants claim that they protested outside the Raml police station in support of lawyers inside after they accused the police of having physically and verbally assaulted them, according to Amnesty International.

An Alexandria court has set 31 May as the date for a verdict in the appeal.

"We will not rest until we obtain all our demands, which are the acquittal of our colleague Youssef and all defendants in the Raml station case, and him being given the necessary medical treatment," read a statement from the Front for Defending Journalists and Freedoms.

According to the statement, Shaaban, a journalist for the El-Bedeya news website, was found to be suffering from Hepatitis C hours before he was arrested.

The front also called for state institutions to release all detained journalists, respect all journalists and grant them a safe work environment, and to release all protestors arrested under the November 2013 protest law.

Shaaban and three other defendants in the case, including and human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Masry, were arrested on May 11 as they attended the first hearing of their appeal.

Shaaban is currently being detained at the Borg El-Arab prison in Alexandria, while El-Masry is at the Abadeya women's prison in Damanhour, according to Amnesty International, who on May 18 called for their release, as well as that of political activist Loay El-Kahwagy, also detained in the case.

Up to 110 journalists have been arrested since 3 July 2013, the date of the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, according to the front.

At least 18 journalists and media workers remained detained in Egypt on World Press Freedom day on May 3, according to Amnesty International.

The interior ministry has regularly denied arresting people for their political views, and says that the arrested journalists face criminal charges. 

Egypt's newly-elected press syndicate head Yehia Qallash has repeatedly promised to tackle the problem of detained journalists.

Short link:



© 2010 Ahram Online.