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Egypt journalists jailed 15 days over incitement

May 2, 2016

Egyptian authorities on Monday ordered the detention of two journalists for 15 days after their arrest on allegations of incitement to protest, a judicial source said.

The decision comes a day after police stormed the headquarters of the journalists’ association in central Cairo and arrested Amr Badr and Mahmud el-Sakka.

A judicial source on Sunday said the pair had been wanted for alleged incitement to protest in violation of the law.

On Monday, the prosecutor of the Shubra al-Khaimah district of Cairo said the pair would be held for 15 days as part of an investigation which also includes allegations they had called for a “coup”.

Badr heads the website Babawet Yanayer which is opposed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Sakka works for the same organisation whose Arabic name means January Gate in a nod to the January 2011 uprising.

Sakka had announced on Facebook plans to join April protests against a decision by the government to hand over to Saudi Arabia two Red Sea islands.

Authorities arrested more than 1,200 people after the protests, with dozens still in detention, according to a group of lawyers who defend activists.

In July 2013, Sisi, then the army chief, overthrew Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and began a deadly crackdown on his supporters.

Authorities have since banned all but police-approved rallies and overseen a crackdown that has left hundreds of Morsi supporters dead and thousands imprisoned.

Several secular and leftist activists who spearheaded the 2011 uprising against longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak have also been jailed.

Meanwhile the journalists’ association has denounced the police raid targeting its headquarters and called for the resignation of the interior minister.


Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.