August 28, 2017
The Committee to Protect Journalists says it is concerned about the disappearance of Egyptian journalist Abdulla Rashad on Monday and called on Egyptian authorities to disclose whether they have him in custody and why.
CPJ added that Rashad, who reports on crime for al-Bawaba News, was last seen leaving the news website’s office on August 17, according to his employer.
The pro-government Al-Bawabh News.com and newspaper reported that the Egyptian police said that Rashad was taken to the police station in Dokki, a neighborhood in Greater Cairo, on August 17 for a few hours before authorities transferred him to the National Security headquarters in the town of Sheikh Zayed. No reason was provided for his arrest, the news website said.
Ahmed Mokhtar, a lawyer for Al-Bawabh News, told the local rights group Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO) that the Ministry of Interior denies arresting Rashad or detaining him. Rashad’s family and employer do not have information on the journalist’s whereabouts or whether he is facing charges, according to Al-Bawabh News News and JATO.
“If Egyptian authorities are detaining Abdulla Rashad, they should announce the reason for his arrest and allow the journalist access to a lawyer and his family,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour, in Washington D.C. “Holding journalists incommunicado and denying them access to legal representation is an unacceptable way for a country to operate.”