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Calls for Egypt authority to release student jailed since 2014 for possessing camera

An Egyptian woman, putting symbolic handcuffs in her hands, chants anti-government slogans during a sit-in at the press syndicate in central Cairo 31 March 2005 [-/AFP via Getty Images]
An Egyptian woman, putting symbolic handcuffs in her hands, chants anti-government slogans during a sit-in at the press syndicate in central Cairo 31 March 2005 [-/AFP via Getty Images]

Egyptian rights groups and activists on Friday launched a campaign calling for Egyptian authorities to release student Khaled Sahloub, who has been in jail since 2014 over possessing a camera, Anadolu Agency reported.

Sahloub was a university media student who worked as a freelance photographer and sold his work to several news outlets, including Al Jazeera.

He was forcibly disappeared for several months in 2014, and was harshly tortured as he, along with a number of Al Jazeera journalists, was linked to a case known as "Marriott Cell".

"However, all of the journalists related to his case had been released, he was sentenced to three years," a statement issued by the campaign confirmed.

"Sahloub spent his sentence in the Scorpion Prison where he was severely beaten and suffered shoulder dislocation, clavicle cracks and some bruises to the head," the statement added.

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Days prior to the end of his sentence in 2017, his name was included in a new case known as Helwan Brigades. He was sent to court and remains in prison.

The Egyptian authorities have not commented on the issue. However, the Public Prosecution claimed in 2014, according to Anadolu Agency, that Sahloub was among a 20-member cell who "committed crimes of inciting against Egypt" and "producing false news."

Director of the Centre of Human Rights Victims Haitham Abu-Khalil posted on Twitter: "Freedom for the photographer Khaled Sahloub, 28, who was arrested because he had and used a camera."

Meanwhile, Egyptian journalist Islam Aqel tweeted: "He was unjustly sentenced to three years in prison. During his detention, he was charged over a case referred to a time when he was in prison! Khaled was among prisoners who were forcibly disappeared by the [Egyptian] forces."

Egypt has been severely criticised by local, regional and international organisations over human rights violations, but the Egyptian authorities always claim such criticism is false and baseless.

Read: Sisi pardons 100 young detainees, thousands more still in prison

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