12/26/2019

Urgent Action: Three Journalists Arbitrarily Detained (Egypt: UA 175.19)


On 26 November 2019, plainclothes police officers arbitrarily arrested journalists Solafa Magdy, Hossam el-Sayed and Mohamed Salah from a cafe in Dokki, Cairo. They confiscated their mobile phones, laptops and car. A day later, State Security prosecutors detained Solafa and Mohamed pending investigation on charges of “joining a terrorist group” and “spreading false news”, while Hossam was accused of “membership in a terrorist group.” In detention, NSA officers beat Solafa on her right arm and side for refusing to give them access to her mobile phone. The prosecutor renewed their detention for 15 days pending investigations.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Public Prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Madinat al-Rehab
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2577 4716
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Yasser Reda
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 895 5400 I Fax: 202 244 5131
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @EgyptEmbassyUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Counselor,

On 26 November 2019, plainclothes police officers arbitrarily arrested journalists Solafa Magdy, Hossam el-Sayed and Mohamed Salah from a cafe in Dokki, Cairo. They confiscated their mobile phones and Solafa’s car, and took them to Dokki police station. National Security Agency (NSA) officers verbally assaulted and beat Solafa on her right arm and side after she refused to give them the access code to her mobile phone. During the initial interrogation, NSA officers questioned all three of them in an unknown location about their previous journalistic work, employers and incomes, as well as on their activism defending their friend Esraa Abdelfattah, another detained journalist and activist.

The following day, State Security prosecutors ordered the detention of Solafa and Mohamed in connection with trumped-up charges of “joining a terrorist group” and “spreading false news,” while Hossam was accused of “membership in a terrorist group.” Hossam and Mohamed are currently detained in Tora prison in Cairo, and Solafa is held in Al Qanater women’s prison in Qalyubia pending investigations as part of case 488 of 2019, which relates to the March 2019 anti-government protests.

Amnesty International considers that Solafa, Hossam and Mohamed are prisoners of conscience detained solely for carrying out their work as journalists and for defending victims of human rights violations.

I therefore ask you to immediately and unconditionally release Solafa, Hossam and Mohamed. I call on you to also ensure that – pending their release – they are granted access to their lawyers, family and medical care; and that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment. I finally urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those detained solely for carrying out their legitimate journalistic work and for peacefully expressing their opinions.

Yours sincerely,

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