Share on

Stockholm - Skyline International for Human Rights calls on the Egyptian authorities to end the "political revenge" against its journalists and dissidents by extending their detention, even though they have exceeded the pre-trial detention period set by law. It stresses that their continued detention violates both the rights enshrined in the Egyptian Constitution and the rules of international law and is unjustified.

In a statement released today (Thursday), Skyline says it views with great concern the ongoing decisions by Egyptian prosecutors to detain numerous journalists. This includes six journalists whose detention was extended by 45 days in four separate cases of a political nature.

"Skyline" points out that the detention of the two journalists "Badr Muhammad Badr" and "Ahmed Subai'" in case No. 333 of 2022 crimes against state security was extended, as the court decided to postpone the trial until January 21 to hear the witnesses.

The detention of journalist "Abdullah Shousha" in case no. 800 of 2019, journalist "Tawfiq Abdel Wahed" in case no. 238 of 2021, and journalist "Mohamed Fawzi" and journalist "Donia Samir Fathi" in case no. 440 was also extended until 2022, in addition to the journalists "Ahmed Sami" and "Mohammed Attia Al-Shaer" who are under investigation in Case No. 1480 from 2019

According to the Arab Observatory for Media Freedom, 26 violations against journalists were recorded in Egypt last December, with courts and prosecutors topping the list with 13 violations, followed by arbitrary administrative decisions with 10 violations, and 2 violations were recorded in prisons. One violation of the publication ban was recorded against journalists. In addition, 47 journalists continued to be detained.

For its part, Skyline stresses that what happened to the journalists in Egypt clearly contradicts Article 54 of the Egyptian Constitution, which states that Personal freedom is a natural right, shall be protected and may not be infringed upon. Except for the case of being caught in flagrante delicto, it is not permissible to arrest, search, detain, or restrict the freedom of anyone in any way except by virtue of a reasoned judicial order that was required in the context of an investigation. The article also stipulates that "Every person whose freedom is restricted shall be immediately notified of the reasons therefore; shall be informed of his/her rights in writing; shall be immediately enabled to contact his/her relatives and lawyer; and shall be brought before the investigation authority within twenty four (24) hours as of the time of restricting his/her freedom."

Skyline concludes its statement by calling on Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release journalists, cease all violations of their fundamental rights, and work to allow them to pursue their normal lives and professions without threat or persecution. It underscores the importance of international action, led by the United Nations and the European Parliament, to pressure Egyptian authorities to cease their retaliatory measures and end the ongoing detention of journalists, political and human rights activists.