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Egyptian journalist 'disappears' after being trailed by policeman: report

Basma Mustafa's last known communication was at 11:15 on the day of her disappearance [Facebook]

Date of publication: 4 October, 2020

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Colleagues and activists have raised concerns about the safety of Egyptian journalist Basma Mustafa following her reported disappearance.
Concerns have been raised about the safety of Egyptian journalist Basma Mustafa, after her reported disappearance in the southern Egyptian governorate of Luxor on Saturday.

Mustafa's last communication was a phone call at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, in which said that a policeman had stopped her and checked her ID card, according to a report by citizen journalism site Almanassa.

Mustafa said the policeman continued to follow her after allowing her to leave, the report added.

Luxor's Police Department has reportedly denied any knowledge of her whereabouts.

Mustafa was working on a report in Luxor, where clashes between residents and police broke out after the killing of Owais al-Rawi - a young Egyptian man shot dead by security forces  - on Wednesday.

Police also fired tear gas on angry mourners who gathered in Amawiya for Rawi's funeral the following day.

It is unclear whether Mustafa was reporting on the clashes in Awamiya, however in recent months she had been reporting on the high-profile Fairmont hotel gang rape case and the death of 26-year-old Islam el-Australy in police custody.

Journalist Zaina Erhaim described Mustafa in a tweet as "the main source for many scoops about #fairmontincident", a case regarding the alleged drugging and rape an 18-year-old woman by four men.

Egyptian authorities have arrested witnesses in the case amid an seemingly coordinated smear campaign against them by pro-government media. 

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