ARTICLE 19 calls on the Egyptian government to immediately release activist and blogger Wael Abbas. Abbas was arrested after an early hours raid on his home on 23 May, and has since been held without access to his lawyer at an unknown location. The arrest comes as part of an alarming rise in arrests of bloggers and journalists following the March elections, which saw the re-election of the repressive regime of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi.
Only the day before, journalist Ismail Alexandrani, also known for his anti-government writings and criticism of the army’s role in Egyptian politics, was reportedly sentenced to 10 years in prison by a military court on similarly trumped up charges.
“The arrest of Wael is part of a pattern of silencing of government critics that has been a trademark of Sisi’s rule and has left dozens of journalists, activists and social media users facing prison for criticising the government. Egypt must end this crackdown and immediately release those detained simply for exercising their right to free expression”, said Saloua Ghazouani, Regional Director for ARTICLE 19 MENA.