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Independent Egyptian media outlet says editor detained

November 23, 2019

As press freedom wanes in Egypt, security forces have taken an editor of Mada Masr into custody. The investigative Egyptian newspaper has called for Shady Zalat's release.

Journalists, with their mouths taped, sit in front of a portrait of Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste to protest against his imprisonment along with others in Egypt in 2014
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Security forces on Saturday detained journalist Shady Zalat, according to a statement by the online news portal he worked for, Mada Masr.

Mada Masr, one of a shrinking number of independent news websites in Egypt, said Shady Zalat was arrested from his home in Cairo.

The outlet said plainclothes police told Zalat's wife that he was being taken to the Giza police headquarters. 


Mada Masr said Shady is 37 years old and has been working there as an editor since 2014.

"He has done nothing more than use words to report the news," the statement read. "His arrest marks yet another escalation in the crackdown against journalism in Egypt."

Mada Masr, which is the Arabic word for "range" or "scope," provides a wide range of content in English ― political and economic in-depth analysis and creative writing as well as investigative journalism, according to Deutsche Welle's DW Akademie.

The outlet has struggled with censorship because of its critical reporting during and after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. To this end, Mada Masr has been blocked for more than a year without any apparent reason, in a campaign by the Egyptian authorities against news websites they claim "support terrorism," according to After the Scoop, a DW Akademie report on investigative journalism around the world.

There was no immediate comment about Shady's detention from Egyptian authorities.

Egypt is ranked 163rd out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2019 Press Freedom Index ― falling two places from the previous year.

Read more: Egypt frees award-winning photojournalist from prison after 5-year term

kw/sms (AP, Mada Masr)

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