The Egyptian regime continues to repress media professionals and journalists with various means, including harsh judicial sentencing.
A court has issued lifetime sentences against six citizens, including journalists Moataz Matar and Sami Kamal al-Din.
The court, which specialises in alleged terrorism cases, has given lifetime sentences to Moataz Matar, Sami Sinjab, Muhammad Ahmed Auf, Tariq Mahmoud Embarak, Muhammad Ali Abdel Khaleq, Sami Kamal al-Din.
The defendants were charged with leading a so-called ‘terrorist group’, which was presented as being hostile to the state, amongst other charges. Many of the accusations have become standard charges used by the regime against its critics.
The court’s decision comes shortly after the addition of 81 Egyptians to the country’s “terror list”, including that of journalist Moataz Matar and other media figures such as Muhammad Nasser and Hamza Zawbaa.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has criticised the ‘catastrophic effects’ of so-called anti-terrorism policies on human rights in Egypt and has highlighted the breadth of the regime’s definition of ‘terrorism’.
Dozens of Egyptian journalists have been imprisoned since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi assumed power in the country on 3 July 2013.
In 2022, Egypt fell to 168th place in Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index.