Egyptian Journalist Released After Nearly a Decade in Prison
An Egyptian journalist who has been serving a 10-year jail sentence in the notorious Badr Prison in Cairo after being accused of “joining a group established in violation of the law, broadcasting false news, and publishing military secrets” was released at a police station in Alexandria on Monday.
Ismail el-Iskandarani was investigating Islamist groups in Egypt, as well as marginalized communities in the Sinai Peninsula, where the Egyptian military has been fighting Islamic State-backed militias since 2013.
El-Iskandarani was arrested at the Hurghada Airport on November 29, 2015 while returning from Germany. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Egypt’s military court in May 2018. The sentence was later reduced to seven years.
Egypt is ranked as the 168th country out of 180 in the Reporters Without Borders Index, which lists Egypt as “one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists.” At least 60,000 political prisoners, among them at least 45 journalists, are estimated to have been jailed since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power following the overthrow in 2013 of Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president.