Egyptian authorities arrest the former director of the Anadolu Agency in Cairo

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The Egyptian authorities have arrested the prominent journalist Tawfiq Ghanem, the former director of the Turkish Anadolu Agency office in Cairo, on charges of joining a terrorist group. The Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) detained him in pretrial detention for a period of fifteen days pending investigation.

According to a statement issued by his family on Thursday, published by his son Salah Ghanem through his Facebook account, the arrest took place last Friday afternoon, from the home of the 66-year-old journalist in 6th of October City (west Cairo). He explained that Ghanem was arrested after security agents raided the house and confiscated many of his personal belongings, including his personal phone and laptop.

The family of the arrested journalist stated that the journalist, who has stopped practicing journalistic or administrative work since 2015, was taken to an unknown destination. The family expressed concern about his health, as he is 66 years old, diabetic, and needs medication daily and suffering from other diseases that have caused him to stop practicing any journalistic or administrative work since 2015.

The family clarified that it later learned that security forces brought the arrested journalist before the SSSP in the Fifth Settlement. It charged him with joining a terrorist group, and he was remanded in custody for a period of fifteen days pending investigation. The family indicated that he was not asked about any specific facts related to the accusation during the investigation. On the contrary, the SSSP questioned him about his journalistic work history and his intellectual views.

The family stated that, so far, it does not know a specific place of his detention, although it has submitted reports to enable it to communicate with him and his lawyer before interrogating him. Ghanem held several press positions, most notably the regional director of the Anadolu Agency office in Cairo and the head of Media International, which ran Islam Online for ten years.

The communication sites witnessed interaction with the arrest of Ghanem, especially by many journalists who expressed their anger at the continuous pursuit and arrest of journalists in Egypt.