The Qasr El-Nil prosecution authorities have renewed the detention of Yehia Khalaf, a manager at Yaqeen News Network (YNN), for another 15 days pending investigations, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) reported Thursday.
Khalaf is facing charges of incitement to violence via the broadcasting of “anti-state videos”, preventing state institutions from doing their work, assaulting citizens’ freedom, harming national unity and social peace, and carrying a fake lawyer’s ID card.
YNN is also being prosecuted for “recording Muslim Brotherhood protests and conducting interviews with relatives of the Muslim Brotherhood”. The network covers a variety of public assemblies, including rallies at the Press Syndicate.
However, the prosecution did not specify a time frame in which the charges were allegedly carried out.
Police arrested Khalaf on 14 July in a raid on the network’s office, seizing all equipment. The Ministry of Interior accused YNN of being a “media arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood, and spreading false news and rumours with the intention of destabilising the current regime and inciting against it.
Previously detained photojournalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada, also known as Shawkan, was also arrested while covering protests at Al-Azhar University for YNN.
This comes amidst a security campaign targeting and imprisoning journalists, which has received wide international concern over matters of press freedom and human rights. One of the most high profile of these cases has been that of three Al Jazeera journalists, who are currently awaiting a verdict in their re-trial.
“Despite widespread criticism of the Al Jazeera case, Egyptian authorities continue their attempts to suppress the flow of information by pressuring, harassing, and jailing journalists working for a range of news outlets,” said Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said Tuesday.
Egypt is holding at least 18 journalists behind bars in relation to their work, according to a prison census the CPJ conducted in June. Most of the journalists were accused of being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.