(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.”


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