Egypt: journalists’ union head on trial

An Egyptian court on June 4 began the trial of a journalist union leader as well as two board members who were charged with spreading false news and harboring wanted reporters. About a month prior, union leader Yahya Qalash denounced authorities for the arrest of two protesting journalists who sought refuge in the headquarters of the union, known as the Press Syndicate. (The two were wanted for online comments opposing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and allegedly calling for a "coup.") Though Qalash initially called for the interior minister's resignation and a presidential apology, he withdrew his comments later to defuse tensions. Amnesty International has publicly opposed the trial, accusing the government of cracking down on the freedom of expression and creating a "state of fear." The defendants have requested postponement and will continue the hearing later this month.

From Jurist, June 4. Used with permission.

  1. Egypt: jail for theater troupe

    The East Cairo Prosecution renewed the detention of four members of the satirical troupe Atfal al-Shawarea (Street Children) for another 15 days on May 24. The four, all aged 20 to 21 years old, have been accused of inciting protests and using online platforms to insult state institutions. In their most-watched video, which translated as "Saudi Arabia: 7,000 Years of Civilization," the troupe narrates Egyptian history as if it has been a part of Saudi Arabia. More than 2 million viewers have watched the video. (Mada Masr)