Egyptian women journalists resurface before the Supreme State Prosecution after enforced disappearance

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After days of disappearance, Egyptian TV anchor Hala Fahmy finally appeared in the Supreme State Security Prosecution Office, which decided to imprison her for 15 days pending investigations in Case No. 441 of 2022 State Security.

Khaled Ali, Fahmy’s lawyer, said that the first interrogation session with Fahmy was on Sunday, and “although I am her lawyer, I could not attend with her because I was not informed of her detention or the interrogation.”

Fahmy refused to make any statements except in the presence of her lawyer, which is why the prosecution decided to postpone interrogations. Fahmy had appeared in a video clip posted on her Facebook page, saying that unknown persons had been chasing her for several days and that she had spent more than seven hours evading them, stressing that they were near her in cars with tinted windows. Fahmy also said that she is facing accusations of espionage because of a form to withdraw confidence from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi that she posted on her Facebook page.

In the same vein, journalist Safaa Al-Korbiji appeared alone in the Supreme State Security Prosecution three days after her disappearance. Her lawyer, Ali Ayoub, said she was investigated and charged with spreading false news and belonging to a banned group in Case No. 441 of 2022. The Security Prosecution also decided to detain Al-Korbiji for 15 days in pretrial detention. Since he wasn’t allowed to attend interrogations with his client, Ayoub considered the decisions in contravention of the constitution and the legal profession law. Al-Korbiji was dismissed from her job at the Radio and Television magazine about three months ago, which her lawyer considered unfair dismissal.

Thousands of Maspero employees had demonstrated in early January to protest their working conditions and low wage levels, and Fahmy had called for developing the protest movement against the administration of the National Media Authority into a sit-in.