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Former head of Egypt's Journalists' Syndicate arrested over political affiliations

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounces the arrest of the former head of Egypt's Journalists' Syndicate, Mamdouh El-Wali, because he believes that what took place on 30 June 2013 [the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi] was a coup.

Egyptian security forces arrested Mamdouh El-Wali, who also happens to be the former chairman of the board of Al-Ahram, on 3 August 2014. A decision to jail him for 15 days pending investigations over a financial corruption case at Al-Ahram was issued.

Security forces took action without informing the Journalists' Syndicate or consulting it. In the same context, the liberties committee of Egypt's Journalists' Syndicate criticised El-Wali's arrest and regarded it as malicious. It attributed the decision to arrest him to his political affiliations and his belief that Mohammed Morsi's ouster was a coup.

"The arrest of journalists on account of their political affiliations is an unacceptable matter and clearly violates press freedom. Accusing the former head of the Journalists' Syndicate, Mamdouh El-Wali, of such charges without consulting the syndicate itself is an attack on the latter and a deliberate ignorance of its role,” said ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on the Egyptian government to release Mamdouh El-Wali immediately, to investigate the authenticity of the charges pressed against him and to stop the discriminatory practices against journalists due to their political affiliations.

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