Egyptian prosecutors order arrest of leading press freedom defender

Monday 04-04-2016 09:27 PM

A demonstration at the steps of the press syndicate to demand the release of journalists in custody, on Dec. 9, 2015. ASWATMASRIYA/ Mohamed al-Raai

CAIRO, Apr 4 (Aswat Masriya) -  Egyptian prosecutors issued on Monday an arrest warrant against the head of the press syndicate's freedoms committee over accusations of inciting protests and disturbing public peace through social media networks.

Khaled al Blashy, who is also the chief editor of al-Bedaiah news website, told Aswat Masriya that the assistant to the interior minister for legal affairs filed a complaint against him for insulting the interior ministry, inciting protests and calling for the overthrow of the government.

Balshy said he sent a lawyer to the prosecutors to inquire about the case and his legal position.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the arrest warrant issued and said it shows "the security services’ extreme hostility towards press freedom in particular and freedom of expression in general".

Balshy has been actively involved in several initiatives that took place at the syndicate in solidarity with detained journalists. He also helped in shedding light on the violations against journalists. 

According to a December 2015 report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Egypt is the "second worst jailer of journalists" worldwide.

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