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80 days after going missing in Egypt, journalist found in prison

July 5, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Egyptian journalist, Yosri Mustafa [Facebook]

An Egyptian journalist who went missing 79 days ago has been found in a state prison, the New Khaleej reported yesterday.

Yosri Mustafa was forcibly disappeared after being stopped at Cairo airport while on his way to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, lesser pilgrimage, in April.

His wife only discovered he was still alive 79 days later, after a lawyer she did not know called her to inform her that her husband had appeared in the Supreme Security Prosecution Office.

Egyptian human rights lawyer Mokhtar Mounir wrote on Facebook that he called Mustafa’s wife to inform her of her husband’s detention.

Mounir said she was so relieved to know that her husband was alive “she did not even care about what the legal case against him was or what charges he faced.”

READ: Egypt returns Ola Al-Qaradawi to solitary confinement

Mustafa had been ordered to serve 15 years in jail on charges that he was a member of a terrorist organisation; a common accusation in Egypt.

Since the 2013 coup that ousted the country’s first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian authorities have cracked down on journalists, activists and opponents; going on to ban the Muslim Brotherhood from which Morsi stemmed. Thousands have been charged with “membership in a terrorist organisation” in reference to the Brotherhood even when such links cannot be made.

Mustafa previously worked at the Freedom and Justice newspaper, which had links to the Brotherhood, but the paper had been closed and his employment there ended years before his arrest.