Egypt charges veteran journalist charged with spreading fake news, misusing social media

Egypt charges veteran journalist charged with spreading fake news, misusing social media
2 min read
06 January, 2022
Veteran Egyptian journalist and editor Khaled El-Balshy has been charged with spreading fake news and misusing a social media tool after four hours of interrogation earlier this week.
Khaled El-Balshy is the editor of Darb, one of the few remaining independent Egyptian outlets [Courtesy of Khaled El-Balshy]

CAIRO – Egypt's prosecution charged veteran Egyptian journalist Khaled El-Balshy earlier this week with spreading fake news and misusing social media.

El-Balshy told The New Arab he was interrogated for four hours before being released without bail, though further investigations are pending.

"Nine people I know nothing about, including six lawyers, filed complaints against me in a single day, accusing me of those charges using my full name mentioned only in my ID card," Balshy told The New Arab.

The complaints involved photocopies of news stories published in Darb, of which Balshy is the editor-in-chief, and a post on his Facebook page about the latest parliamentary elections.

The stories included a report by the state's supreme human rights council about the first stage of the elections, and news on the renewal of pre-trial detentions and the conditions of detainees in Egypt, among other subjects.

It was later revealed that the complaints had been filed in November 2020.

Before founding DarbBalshy was an editor of a number of news outlets, all of which have been shut down by authorities. He was also formerly a press syndicate board member.

Darb is among about 500 other local and international news outlets and websites blocked in Egypt, among them The New Arab and Human Rights Watch.