Detained Egyptian researcher nominated for RSF Press Freedom Prize

Detained Egyptian researcher nominated for RSF Press Freedom Prize
2 min read
27 October, 2016
Detained Egyptian researcher and investigative journalist Ismail Alexandrani is one of 22 nominees for the Reporters without Borders (RSF) TV5 Monde Prize for Press Freedom.
Alexandrani was arrested upon his arrival at Hurghada Airport in November [Twitter]

A detained Egyptian researcher and investigative journalist is one of 22 nominees for the Reporters without Borders (RSF) TV5 Monde Prize for Press Freedom.

"A significant number of the nominees are unfortunately in the process of being prosecuted or are languishing in jail solely because they wanted to inform their fellow citizens about matters of public interest," RSF programme director Lucie Morillon said.

"Those in prison include Egyptian journalist Ismail Alexandrani… who, like many other citizen journalists all over the world, took over when the authorities stifled the traditional media," she added.

The 32-year-old was arrested upon his arrival at Hurghada Airport in November and has been in detention since.

He currently faces charges of "spreading false news aimed at damaging the national interest and disturbing the public peace" and joining the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

Before coming to Egypt, the expert's research findings on Sinai found that affiliates of the Islamic State group had infiltrated the Egyptian army.

His wife Khadeeja Gaafar said that he was detained in Egypt based on instructions from the Egyptian embassy in Berlin.

"We call for their unconditional release and the withdrawal of all the charges against them," Morillon said.

The RSF prize will be awarded to three laureates – a journalist, a media outlet and a citizen journalist – at a ceremony in Strasbourg on 8 November. This is the 25th year running that RSF has awarded this prize.

Alexnadrani's arrest has been condemned by several international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, which calls for the Egyptian authorities to release him.

Last year Egypt jailed a total of 23 journalists, according to CPJ, making it the second-worst jailer of journalists in the world, behind China.