An arrest warrant was issued against prominent journalist and head of the Press Syndicate’s Freedoms Committee Khaled El-Balshy after a lawsuit was filed by Ministry of Interior officials accusing him of inciting demonstrations and insulting the police, among other accusations.
According to El-Balshy’s family, the journalist was not informed of ongoing investigations by the prosecution and they only found out about the charges against him when a family member in El-Balshy’s hometown of Menufiya saw the arrest warrant two days ago.
The charges against El-Balshy, who is the editor-in-chief of the Al-Bedaiah news website, include calling for toppling the regime and disturbing societal peace.
According to Al-Bedaiah, the lawsuit is filed by deputy minister of interior for legal affairs and it is based on videos of the journalist and screenshots from his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
El-Balshy was elected a member of the syndicate’s board in March 2013 and since then has been vocal in calling for journalists’ rights and opposing violations and imprisonment against journalists.
The most recent of El-Balshy’s advocacy efforts came in February when he was informed that four of his colleagues, who are currently detained at Al-Aqrab high security prison, were nearly dead due to medical negligence.
El-Balshy went on strike until they were treated. The strike gathered support from a large number of journalists and it prompted an instant response from the Ministry of Interior at the time to ensure medical care for the journalists.