Online petition supports detained journalist Mahmoud Al-Saqa

Amira El-Fekki
3 Min Read
Journalist Mahmoud Al-Saqqa, detained against the backdrop of the Red Sea islands case (public domain)

Journalists continued to demand the improvement of their colleagues’ detention conditions. On Saturday, the Press Syndicate’s Freedoms Committee filed three official complaints to the general prosecutor, voicing their demands.

The first one requested that members of the syndicate be allowed to visit imprisoned journalists, in addition to demanding the release of those suffering from poor health conditions. The second complaint demanded that detained journalists be grouped in one location in a manner that would facilitate following up on their situation and their possible transfer to hospitals.

“The complaint further renewed its request for answers regarding previous complaints addressing the situation of journalists, especially Hisham Gaafar, Hany Salah El-Din, Omar Abdel Maqsoud, Mohamed Al-Batawy, Magdy Hussein, and Hassan Qabani,” a statement by the committee read.

The third complaint referred to journalist Mahmoud Al-Saqa, whose health has been deteriorating.

Activists and supporters launched a campaign on social media on Saturday evening in solidarity with Al-Saqa, demanding his release. They also advocated for the signing of an online petition addressing the general prosecutor. The petition recounted the case of Al-Saqa since his arrest in the infamous police raid on the Press Syndicate on 1 May.

It explained that co-defendant and journalist Amr Badr, prominent rights lawyer Malek Adly, and others were detained along with Al-Saqqa against the backdrop of the case publicly known as the ‘Red Sea islands protests’.

“Adly was released after 114 days, and Badr after 120 days. Yet, Al-Saqa began his journey of solitary detention since 28 August, he is enduring tough living conditions; without a mattress to sleep on, without seeing the light, and barely 10 minutes to step into the prison corridor,” the petition read.

It further added that Al-Saqa is not detained in solitary confinement, but is rather staying alone in an entire prison ward. The petition added that since his detention, Al-Saqa has been suffering hematemesis (vomiting blood) and that authorities have denied his lawyers’ request to take him to a hospital.

In July, the Doctors Syndicate said it had sent Al-Saqa’s family complaint that he suffered from hematemesis to general prosecutor Nabil Sadeq, Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, as well as the NCHR, and prison authorities, demanding his right to medical treatment.

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Journalist in DNE's politics section, focusing on human rights, laws and legislations, press freedom, among other local political issues.