The family of the detained journalist, Hisham Abdelaziz, stated that the Egyptian authorities cancelled his release, days after the Public Prosecution had ordered his release.
Samira Al-Taher, the wife of the Al-Jazeera journalist, said in a post on Twitter that the lawyer informed her that the decision to release Hisham Abdelaziz was cancelled “as if it had not happened,” and that her husband is still detained pending case No. 1956 of 2019, in which he is the only defendants. He is facing a charge of “helping a terrorist group achieve its goals.”
Al-Taher confirmed that by next June, Hisham Abdelaziz will complete four years in pre-trial detention.
The Egyptian Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to release 41 citizens who were remanded in custody pending investigation in 8 political cases, including Al-Jazeera journalist, Hisham Abdelaziz.
Abdelaziz completed 46 months in arbitrary pre-trial detention, as the maximum legal period for pre-trial detention in Egypt is two years. After obtaining a release order in Case No. 1365 of 2018 Supreme State Security, on charges of belonging to a banned group. He remained in pre-trial detention until a decision was issued to release him on bail of 20,000 pounds on December 5, 2019.
After his release order, Abdelaziz was transferred to Hadayek Al-Qobba police station to finish the procedures, where he was subjected to enforced disappearance again for a month, then he appeared in Tora prison, pending investigation on a new case under No. 1956 of 2019, with a new decision by the State Security Prosecution to renew his detention.
On June 20, 2019, the Egyptian authorities detained Hisham and his family as soon as they arrived at Cairo Airport, where they were planning to spend their annual holiday. The passport control officer arrested them and took Hisham to the National Security Office at Cairo Airport, where he was interrogated for five hours, during which they searched his mobile phones, his laptop, passports and pieces of luggage of his wife and children. The authorities confiscated their passports and released him after signing a paper to return to the National Security headquarters to collect the passports.
A few hours later, Hisham received a phone call from the National Security officer at Cairo Airport, asking him to come immediately to collect the passports. Upon his arrival, the security forces arrested him and subjected him to enforced disappearance for 3 days, during which he was subjected to starvation and degrading treatment, and prevented from using the bathroom. Furthermore, the security forces took his shoes away and tore his clothes before presenting him to the Public Prosecution in a miserable condition.
In a previous statement for the family of Hisham Abdelaziz, they stressed that he suffered from glaucoma in his eyes, and high eye pressure, which caused him blurred vision and suffered problems in his hearing as well.
Dozens of Egyptian journalists have been imprisoned since President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi assumed power in the country.
Egypt ranked 168th in the Press Freedom Index in 2022, according to the global ranking issued by “Reporters Without Borders”.