Egypt: Authorities arrest journalist who was covering police brutality | News | DW | 04.10.2020
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Egypt: Authorities arrest journalist who was covering police brutality

Journalist Basma Mostafa, who was reporting on the killing of a man by police forces, reportedly faces accusations of spreading false news. In recent years, Egypt has cracked down upon media and dissent.

Egyptian authorities detained a local journalist, allegedly due to the fact that she worked on a story of a man killed during a police raid. 

Basma Mostafa had arrived in the southern city of Luxor on Saturday. However, she soon lost touch with al-Manassa, the news website she worked for. In a report, her employer said she believed she was being monitored by the police. 

The al-Manassa network is banned from operating in Egypt, and its website is blocked.

Detained in Cairo

Mostafa, a 30-year-old mother of two, had been working on a story about clashes that had broken out after the murder of a local man by police authorities. 

Al-Manassa confirmed later that she had been interrogated by prosecutors, who had ordered her to remain in custody for 15 days. Mostafa's husband, lawyer Karim Abdel-Rady, said she appeared Sunday at the headquarters of Egypt's state security prosecution in Cairo.

Read more: Egypt arrests journalist on fake news charges

According to the AP news agency, her husband and another lawyer who attended her hearings said she was facing accusations of disseminating false news and joining a terrorist group. This was in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood group which the government banned since 2013.

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Crackdown on media

Mostafa's arrest is the latest in a series of curbs placed by the government on independent media outlets. Presidet Abdel Fattah el-Sissi's government has imprisoned dozens of journalists, and expelled correspondents from some countriessuch as Britain, as well as Turkey and China, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Read more: Egypt imprisons female TikTok influencers

Al-Manassa's offices had been raided in June this year, and its editor had been briefly arrested on charges of operating without a license.

tg /dj (AP,dw)

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