IFJ demands Egyptian authorities release jailed journalist Abdel Nasser Salama

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The International Federation of Journalists issued a statement demanding the Egyptian authorities immediately release the Egyptian journalist and ex-editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram newspaper, Abdel Nasser Salama, who is on hunger strike.

The statement urged the Egyptian authorities to drop the charges against Salama, who was arrested from his house in July, and prosecuted with funding terrorism and publishing false news. “Abdel Nasser Salama is only being held for expressing his views and we fear for his current health conditions,” said Anthony Bellanger, the general secretary of the IFJ. “We urge the Egyptian authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally. The IFJ will continue pushing for the release of the dozens of arrested journalists in Egypt for simply doing their job.”

Egyptian human rights sources asserted that Salama is continuing, from 25 September, his hunger strike in solitary confinement in the Scorpion Prison, protesting the awful detention conditions and the prevention of family visits and medication.

The Egyptian security forces arrested Salama after he published an article on Facebook demanding Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi step down over his failure to protect Egypt’s share of the Nile’s water. The well-known journalist was not interrogated by the prosecution except for the first time after his arrest, then from then onwards his detention was automatically renewed.

“Egypt is known for their practice of jailing journalists on groundless charges in retaliation for their reporting or opinion on social media,” said the IFJ, and added that Egypt now has 27 journalists in jail.