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Journalist missing after police arrest him in his home

Mada Masr – October 22, 2015

Journalist Hossam al-Deen Seed was arrested in his home and taken to an unknown location on Thursday morning, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) reported.

He was still missing as of Thursday evening.

The charges against Seed are unknown, according to the ANHRI statement, which noted that he is a member of the Journalists Syndicate.

The Interior Ministry did not respond to Mada Masr’s calls for a comment on the incident.

Seed’s arrest comes the day after security forces raided the offices of the Mada Foundation for Media Development and arrested all staff members on the premises.

This raid represents “a dangerous escalation in the Egyptian authorities’ crackdown on freedom of expression and association,” Amnesty International argued in a statement released Wednesday.

Seed’s arrest also coincides with a National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) report on 15 cases of forced disappearances that was issued the day of the Mada Foundation raid, the privately owned newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

Reports of journalists being arrested or forcibly disappeared by security forces have swelled since the military-led ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

There are disagreements about the number of journalists currently detained or in prison, but estimates range from 60 to 70.

The freelance photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, commonly known as Shawkan, has been held in pre-trial detention for over two years, exceeding Egypt’s legal two-year limit.

Egypt ranked near the bottom of the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedoms index, coming in at 158 out of 180 countries.

At least 30 journalists were arbitrarily arrested in 2014 on charges of organizing or participating in protests, the report said. Reporters Without Borders claimed that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government is using its ongoing war on terror as a pretext to curb press freedoms and target media institutions affiliated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms released a report in August stating that authorities violated journalists’ rights at least 658 times during the first year of Sisi’s presidency. The violations included preventing journalists from doing their jobs, verbal and physical assault, detention, arrests and imprisonment, damaging and confiscating equipment, banning press reports and filing lawsuits against journalists.

October 23, 2015 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | ,

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