The Supreme State Security Prosecution decided Wednesday to renew the detention of two journalists affiliated with Mekameleen TV channel, which aired leaked statements by high-ranking government officials.
Farida Ali and Samar Hassan are facing charges of requesting and acquiring funds from foreign sources to damage national interest. They also face charges of broadcasting news potentially harming national interest and promoting the ideology of a terrorist group, according to a Tuesday statement by the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
Mekameleen had aired several leaks, among which are phone conversations allegedly between members of Egypt’s armed forces revealing that ousted president Mohammed Morsi was held illegally in a military navy base.
Another leak by the channel reveals government officials purportedly picked media figures to convince citizens that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi targeted them to encourage their support of his 2014 presidential campaign.
In a third leak, top government officials expressed their dissatisfaction with the financial support received from major GCC countries, describing them as “not real states”. Al-Sisi also noted the abundance of money in these countries in the leaks.
Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat referred in December the investigation into the leaks to the military prosecutor.
Britain’s leading independent forensic speech and acoustics laboratory, J. P. French Associates, declared the authenticity of the leaks on the “half-state” Gulf donors and Morsi’s detention in military confinement, reported the Huffington Post on Monday.
The detained journalists are also accused of joining an illegal group which aims at disrupting the provisions of the constitution and laws, and attacking the personal freedoms of citizens and other freedoms.
They were arrested on 11 February from their homes.