The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) issued on Sunday a report that claims there are currently 63 journalists and members of the media behind bars in Egypt’s prisons, detailing their charges and dates of arrest.
Out of the 63 journalists mentioned in the report who are currently detained, 58 were arrested following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian Armed Forces in July 2013. The arrest dates attached to the other five journalists remain unknown. The list included reporters, correspondents, photojournalists, and editors-in-chief. Several national and international rights organisations have condemned Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for his severe crackdown on journalists.
Also, 33 journalists were arrested during the period from the ouster of Morsi following July 2013 until Al-Sisi was appointed as president in June 2014, according to the report. Some of the journalists have received verdicts and the others are in remand and have exceeded the legal period of pre-trial detention, which is two years according to the Constitution.
The Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO) also released a report on 25 October in which it detailed lists of detained journalists. However, this list said that there are currently 18 journalists behind bars.
According to the Press Syndicate’s head of rights committee Khaled Al-Balshy, the current number of journalists behind bars is about 28.
Since July 2013, nine journalists were killed during the course of their work, according to the international watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). In its third quarterly report, JATO said that there were about 106 violations against journalists from July to September 2016.
The ANHRI report was issued after the state’s crackdown on journalists reached the Press Syndicate leader and two board members, after a court issued a verdict sentencing the trio to two years in prison.