The Freedoms Committee of the Press Syndicate has demanded the release of detained journalists, including photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid (Shawkan) who entered his fourth year in detention without a conclusive trial. The committee also demanded immediate medical treatment for several imprisoned journalists.
“The committee further demanded investigations into reported violations against our colleagues in detention. The committee holds the executive authority responsible for their safety,” it stated in a Thursday press statement.
The list of detained journalists in need of treatment according to medical reports asserting their health’s deterioration include to Hany Salah El-Din, Omar Abdul Maqsoud, Mahmoud El-Saqa, and Hisham Gaafar.
The committee said it had found outrageous that Gaafar appeared in court on Wednesday carrying catheters, and that it was major evidence of the inhumane treatment performed by the Ministry of Interior, “a crime for which perpetrators and those who cover it should be penalised.”
“Egypt became the second top country imprisoning journalists,” the committee said, stressing that that “crimes committed against journalism and journalists are a shame that will follow its perpetrators.”
Khaled El-Balshy, the head of the Press Syndicate’s Freedoms Committee, is facing trial himself, along with syndicate President Yehia Qalash and Sectretary-General Gamal Abdel Reheem over charges of sheltering wanted suspects. The suspects were journalists El-Saqa and Amr Badr.