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Egypt orders 15-day detention of Masr al-Arabia news website editor

Egypt has regularly arrested journalists since the 2013 military overthrow [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 July, 2018

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Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the 15-day detention of the chief editor of an independent news website shortly after he was ordered released from prison in a different case.

Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the 15-day detention of the chief editor of an independent news website shortly after he was ordered released from prison in a different case.

Defence lawyer Fatma Serag said on Thursday that Masr al-Arabia chief editor Adel Sabri was ordered to be detained Tuesday on charges of spreading false news and joining an outlawed group.

Serag says Sabri, who was arrested in April on similar charges including operating an unlicensed website, was set to be released Monday on bail of 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($558) before he was summoned for interrogation over his involvement in the other case.

The Masr al-Arabia website was shuttered upon Sabri's arrest in April, a day after authorities announced that President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi had won a second, four-year term in office with 97 percent of the vote.

Sabri is accused of publishing false news and managing an unlicenced website.

Egypt has regularly arrested journalists since the 2013 military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president, as part of a wider crackdown on dissent.

Human rights groups estimate that as many as 60,000 political prisoners languish in Egyptian jails, significantly more than under Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship.

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