Egypt: news outlet editor arrested

Operation by eight officers in Cairo newsroom

25 June, 17:22

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, JUNE 25 - The editor of an Egyptian independent news website, Nora Younis, was arrested with the charge of operating an illegal website, Middle East Eves reports, quoting a tweet of the agency ''Manassa'' and the lawyer of the journalist, who has also written for the Washington Post. In what appears to be a new attack against media freedom in Egypt, the website reports, the arrest occurred after a raid carried out at the website's newsroom in Cairo by eight plainclothes officers.

    The arrest took place on Wednesday, said Middle East Eye (Mee), which has also been shut down in Egypt like Al Manassa and some 500 additional sites. The human rights activist, a critic of the Egyptian government, was taken to a police precinct in Cairo, in the district of Maadi, where she is awaiting a court hearing scheduled today. A personal computer was seized as part of the operation.

    Officers did not show an arrest warrant, according to the website of Amnesty International, which asked authorities to protect the journalist from torture or mistreatment.

    Al Manassa, a website founded in 2015 by Younis who also managed Al-Masry Al-Youm, a popular independent Egyptian daily, said they had requested a license already in October 2018 but had never received a reply. The lack of a response is often used in Egypt as a pretext to close independent media outlets, denounced Mee.

    Egypt is ranked 166th out of 180 countries and territories in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index drafted by Reporters Without Borders and is among the four countries that arrest the highest number of journalists according to the Committee to protect journalists (Cpj).

    Lina Attalah, director of independent (and obscured) news site Mada Masr, was arrested in May, Mee recalled. (ANSAmed).


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