Photojournalist Ahmed Ramadan of privately owned Tahrir newspaper was acquitted of belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood by the prosecution on Monday after paying a bail of EGP 5,000.
Dozens of journalists had protested in front of the Press Syndicate in response to Ramadan’s arrest, demanding his release.
Ramadan was investigated by the prosecution after a fellow journalist from Al-Youm Al-Sabaa newspaper reported him to security forces as a Muslim Brotherhood member. The report was filed during a ‘Morsi espionage’ trial session after a personal dispute, according to witnesses.
The Al-Youm Al-Sabaa journalist was banned from entering the syndicate by its board of directors. In addition, the Al-Youm Al-Sabaa editorial board launched an investigation into her action, according to the paper’s website.
During interrogations, Ramadan was further charged with impersonating a journalist as he was not carrying an official press pass. However, according to witnesses, Ramadan went directly into the court as he “did not notice the officer who was handing photojournalists an entry pass”. He was also acquitted of that charge.
Freedom of the press in Egypt has deteriorated over the past two years, as dozens of other journalists have been arrested.
A recent report by the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), entitled “The Forbidden Right”, documented 658 violations against journalists, with 258 instances of preventing journalists from performing their duty, the most recurrent violation during that year.