The latest Updates on the imprisoned journalists file in 2021
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This report observes and documents the number of arrested journalists, journalists in detention departments in 2021 as well as journalists who were released with grantee of place of residence or under precautionary measures or performing a supplementary sentence or criminal sentences during 2021. The total number of these journalists – according to the observatory’s standards – is 30 accused in 19 cases.
The Egyptian Observatory for Journalism and Media documented the continued imprisonment of ten journalists in detention centers by the end of 2021, 9 of them are in the continues pretrial detention, while the journalist Ismail Al-Iskandarani is still imprisoned due the verdict issued in Case No. 569 of 2015 State Security, registered as 18 of 2018 Military Felonies Court of North Cairo.
The observatory also documented arresting 7 journalists, two of them were referred to investigations by Supreme State Security Prosecution office, one of them is still under pretrial detention, the other was released, three journalists were interrogated by Qasr El Nil Minor Prosecution office and were accused with demonstration, then released with grantee of place of residence. Later a decision that there is no reason to file a criminal case and keep the investigations was issued, finally Nasr City Second Department’s Prosecution interrogated two journalists and referred them to urgent trial in front of the State Security Court Emergency Section of Nasr City, they were released with financial guarantee then they were found guilty, their sentence still non-approved until the releasing this report.
During 2021, decisions were issued to release five journalists by precautionary measures, in addition to releasing other six journalists with a guarantee of place of residence, including two sentences for one female journalist in two different cases, finally the decision issued to lift the security measures, also six journalists were released with a guarantee of place of residence.
The report also documented a verdict by the Court of Cassation, the Felonies Chamber, upholding the verdict issued against the journalist Shawkan in the case known in the media by “ Rabaa sit-in dispersal” and the continuation of his sentence of “police supervised parole”, by spending 12 hours daily in Haram first police station1, imposed on him under the verdict issued in case no. 2985 of 2015 East Cairo’s Regional Court, which was supported by the Cassation Court, The Felonies Court, which was held in the Consultation Chamber, also decided to stop the precautionary measures imposed on the journalist Hamdi Al-Zaim in Case No. 15060 of 2016 misdemeanors, Qasr El-Nil until determining his legal status in Case No. 955 of 2020 State Security which he is still under pretrial detention for it2.
The report clarifies the judicial registration numbers for each case in addition to the charges pressed; which are limited to accusations of joining a terrorist group or participating in a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes, spreading false news, misusing the internet, demonstrating and funding illegal activities.
The report also classifies the cases according to prosecution responsible for investigating journalists’ cases during 2021, the report found that there are 13 cases in the State Security Prosecution, a case pending before Giza Accidents Prosecution, a case before Qasr al-Nil Partial Prosecution, a case before Nasr City Prosecution, and a case before the Central Cairo Prosecution.
Journalists are categorized by gender to 29 males and 1 female. Regarding the age groups of journalists, the report found that there are three elderly journalists, (age group from 51 to 60 years), and the rest are distributed among the rest of the age groups from (21 to 50). The report also classifies the cases of journalists according to the place of arrest.
It should be noted that the report excluded the journalist Ismail al-Iskandarani from journalists categorizing according to the responsible prosecution office or according to their accusations, as his final verdict was issued before the year 2021, and the journalist is subjected to the implementation of the penalty imposed on him during the year 2021.
Finally, this report contains a detailed explanation of journalists’ cases – a total of 30 journalists – who were sent to detention centers during 2021, whether they were in pretrial detention before or after 2021, or fulfilling a court verdict, or who were released by precautionary measures or by guaranteeing their place of residence, or with a financial guarantee, or journalists who were sentenced, or who have supplementary penalties, and finally, the journalists whose cases were archived by the prosecution, by stating the details of the arrest and its date, the journalist’s interrogation date, a statement of accusations, and the latest developments in those cases by the end of 2021.