The Egyptian authorities released a group of political detainees, including former editor in-chief of Al-Ahram newspaper, Abdel Nasser Salama, who was detained for criticising Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on his stance on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis.
A number of other arbitrarily detained people were released along with Salama, including the lawyer Amr Imam, the lawyer Mohab Yousry Al-Ibrashi (detained since January 2019), Bassam Galal ElSayed (detained since 2019), former Ambassador Yahya Zakaria Osman Negm (detained since May 29, 2021), and Momtaz Fathi Abdelwahab Qassem.
At the dawn of July 18, 2021, the Egyptian authorities arrested Salama from his home in Alexandria after publishing an article in which he criticised the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, and asked him to announce his resignation from his post. Salama had also published a series of articles in which he discussed economic conditions and the future crisis that will affect Egypt following the construction of the Renaissance Dam.
Salama’s family and his lawyer submitted several requests to have him transferred to hospital, as he suffers from many diseases, which worsened due to his detention in poor conditions.
The journalist has previously entered an open hunger strike in protest against his arrest and detention in harsh detention conditions.
The release of lawyer Amr Imam comes about a thousand days after his arrest on October 16, 2019, from his home in Maadi, south of Cairo.
Imam is a human rights lawyer in Egypt who has contributed to delivering information about all political detainees in Egyptian prisons.
The six released detainees were charged with joining a terrorist group, misuse of social media, and publishing false news, which are charges usually used by the Egyptian authorities against its critics.