Journalist Mohamed El-Battawy is being held in Tora Prison, a National Security officer told state-run news agency MENA Monday.
This comes after Head of the Press Syndicate Yehia Qalash filed a complaint to the Prosecutor General’s hours earlier, demanding to know the whereabouts of El-Battawy’s detention and the charges he was facing.
Security officials objected the use of the word “detention” or its synonyms. An unnamed security source from the National Security told MENA Monday that El-Battawy’s arrest came according to a warrant issued by High State Security “for joining an illegal organisation”.
The Press Syndicate confirmed in a statement that El-Battawy’s family asked the syndicate for help after claiming that National Security forces, affiliated with the Ministry of Interior, took the journalist from his house in Qaliubiya on 17 June.
A week later, there had been no response from the ministry regarding the charges faced or the whereabouts of his detention, causing the syndicate to consider El-Battawy’s case a “forced disappearance”.
A protest at the Press Syndicate’s Cairo headquarters Saturday called for the release of the detained state newspaper Al-Akhbar Al-Youm journalist, while Gamal Abdul Reheem, Secretary General of the syndicate, stated Monday that there would be escalation and firmness in countering state attacks on journalists.
Amid the increasing crackdown and assaults on journalists by state security forces, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has not responded to the syndicate’s demands to undertake measures to curb the repressive practices.