Egypt Raids Office of Independent Egyptian Journalists, Arrests Staff
PEN America calls raid and arrests an attempt to silence independent reporting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York, NY) — Egyptian security officials this weekend raided the offices of one of the country’s last major independent media outlets, Mada Masr, and briefly detained several staff members. On Saturday, police arrested Mada Masr editor Shady Zalat at his home; he was released Sunday evening. The incidents come amid a broader crackdown on dissent and free expression in the country. Summer Lopez, senior director of free expression programs at PEN America, issued the following statement in response:
“These reprehensible attacks are a clear attempt to silence what may be the last remaining bastion of independent reporting in Egypt. The courageous journalists at Mada Masr have stood firm for years in the face of the President Sisi’s ongoing crackdown on the press, and they will no doubt keep reporting even in the face of these relentless attempts at intimidation. But no journalist should have to endure harassment or arbitrary detention to do their work. And the international community should not stand idly by while the Egyptian government brutalizes journalists and makes plain its utter disdain for freedom of the press. No one should tolerate such brazen attacks on press freedom.”
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, [email protected], +1 202 309 8892