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Two journalists released, third has detention extended 15 days

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Feras Shamsan and Karim Al-Behairy released on Monday, while Ahmed Fouad remains in custody

Feras Al-Shamsan, a Yemeni blogger, and Karim Al-Behairy, journalist from Al-Badil newspaper, were released from custody Monday while fellow journalist Ahmed Fouad had his detention renewed for another 15 days.

Al-Shamsan was originally detained while photographing the Cairo book fair in early February. The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) released a statement Monday saying that Al-Shamsan was at the National Security headquarters undergoing investigation.

Al-Shamsan, a Yemeni national living in Egypt, was accused of having photographs and videos that called for “suspending the constitution, hindering state institutions and public authorities from doing their work, and attacking the personal freedoms of citizens” ANHRI reported.

Karim Al-Behairy, a journalist for El-Badil newspaper, was arrested on 25 January and charged with charged “inciting riots, protesting and possessing a Molotov cocktail”. Al-Behairy reportedly showed security forces his identification and proof that he was in fact on assignment.

According to ANHRI, Al-Behairy suffered various abuses in detention.  A statement released by the human rights group noted that Al-Behairy was robbed by security forces, beaten violently, and denied a lawyer.

Ahmed Fouad, also arrested on 25 January, had his detention extended today according to the human rights group Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression. The group released a statement that said prosecutors in the case allegedly have evidence that Fouad was among the organisers of the protest.

Fouad is being charged with “joining a group that aims to disrupt the law, demonstrating without a permit, blocking a road, and possession of a weapon”.

In a statement released on 24 February, ANHRI called for “the prosecutor general and South Giza Prosecution to release Al-Behairi as well as an end to the use of preventive detention as a punishment of opinion makers”.


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