Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK ((AOHR UK) condemns the Egyptian security services’ arrest of Al-Jazeera journalist Rabie Al-Sheikh upon his arrival at Cairo airport on the evening of Sunday 1 August.
AOHR UK can clarify that members of Cairo airport security arrested the Egyptian journalist upon his arrival from Doha. Al-Sheikh was planning to visit his family, though was taken to the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Cairo, and after hours of investigation, was referred to the State Security Prosecution, which ordered that he be detained for 15 days on the charge of spreading “false news”.
AOHR UK observes that, with Sheikh’s arrest, the number of Al Jazeera journalists detained in Egypt rose to three, with Bahaa Nimatullah and Hisham Abdel Aziz still detained and suffering inhumane conditions – conditions that threaten their lives – on the basis of charges without evidence, and without any conviction.
Since 3 July 2013 journalists in Egypt have been subjected to tight restrictions, including harsh court rulings and long periods of incarceration. Al Jazeera journalists have been specifically targeted over the last period; although the network is again allowed to operate in Egypt, its employees have not been released from detention.
AOHR UK underlines that the regime’s repressiveness – its hostility towards journalists and blocking of any media outlet with an oppositional or critical opinion of the authorities – has reached an unprecedented level and that the international community must take practical steps against such abuses.
AOHR UK calls again on all human rights organisations, activists, and journalists around the world to build a consensus around rejecting the Egyptian regime’s violations, and to put pressure on the governments of the Western countries to cease any kind of support for the regime – one which continues to crush opposition on a daily basis.