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Amnesty International concerned about Egypt's crackdown on press freedom

Pess Freedom Scrabble, June 15, 2015 [Jeff Djevdet/Flickr]
Pess Freedom Scrabble, 15 June, 2015 [Jeff Djevdet/Flickr]

Amnesty International has expressed its concerns on Wednesday over what it called "the continuous crackdown on press freedom" in Egypt, due to at least five journalists being arrested since last September.

This came via the organisation's Twitter account, the day after the release of a journalist who was arrested for four days while covering protests that erupted after a young man was shot dead by security forces in Luxor governorate.

Amnesty International tweeted: "The organisation expresses its grave concern over the ongoing attacks on press freedoms in Egypt, as at least five journalists have been arrested since September, while dozens are still behind bars simply because they are journalists who did their work or expressed their opinions."

The organisation added: "We express our relief over the release of journalist for Al-Manassa website, Basma Mostafa, who should not have been arrested in the first place. We call on the authorities to drop all criminal investigations against her because of her legitimate journalistic work."

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On Saturday, the Egyptian authorities arrested Mostafa while covering popular protests that erupted after a young man named Owais Al-Rawi was shot dead by security forces in Al-Awamiyah village in Luxor governorate.

Meanwhile, the Public Prosecution announced in a statement on Tuesday that the journalist was released the day after the authorities issued an order to remand her for 15 days on charges of "joining a terrorist group and spreading fake news," without clarifying the reasons for her release.

On Monday, the Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed the detention of journalist Islam Al-Kalhi for 15 days, who has been detained since 9 September while covering protests that broke out after security forces shot dead a young man in Giza governorate. Al-Kalhi was also charged for joining a terrorist group and spreading fake news.

It was not possible to obtain immediate comment from the Egyptian authorities regarding Amnesty International's report. However, Cairo has earlier confirmed its full commitment to the law and human rights principles.

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AfricaAmnesty InternationalEgyptInternational OrganisationsNews
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