Egypt detains prominent blogger, latest in arrest series

Ruben Fields
May 25, 2018

A prominent Egyptian activist and blogger known for documenting alleged abuses by the security forces has been detained, his lawyer says.

In fact, Mr. Sisi has gone in the opposite direction, arresting Mr. Abbas and others activists in the past month, in what appears to be an effort to silence even the small number of critics still inside Egypt, including some who had already started to self-censor out of fear of arrest.

"Egyptian authorities are degrading themselves in the eyes of the global community by rounding up all of the country's independent media", said CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch from Washington D.C. "Egypt should free Wael Abbas immediately and halt its frenzied attack against journalists".

He wrote on his Facebook account: "I am being arrested".

Egyptian activists and Wael's friends have launched a hashtag on social media: #وائل_عباس_فين or (Where is Wael Abbas?) in a step to show support and protest their friends' arbitrary arrest.

Egyptian blogger and journalist Wael Abbas, known for taking a stand against police violence, was arrested during the night of Tuesday and Wednesday at his home in Cairo, his lawyer told AFP.

People ride on a bus as posters with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are displayed during preparations for the presidential election in Cairo, Egypt March 25, 2018. She faces accusations of spreading false news and insulting an Egypt state institution.

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Fellow human rights activists took to Twiter to voice their shock and anger at Abbas' violent arrest and detention, and called for world leaders to act to secure his release.

"He doesn't budge and has been doing what many of us can no longer do".

In December 2017, his twitter account, containing an assortment of videos and photos documenting events in the uprising, got suspended, resulting in an online uproar.

His Youtube, Yahoo and Twitter accounts were closed.

Abbas won the journalism award from the International Center for Journalists in 2007, and also won the Human Rights Watch's Hellman/Hammett Award in 2008. Facebook had also deleted Wael's account, but it was since restored.

An Egyptian military court has sentenced a freelance journalist who reported on the Sinai insurgency to 10 years in prison on terror-related charges.

Ismail Alexandrani, an expert on militant groups in the Sinai, was accused of publishing state secrets and belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood. "There is no freedom for the press for this move [to arrest Abbas] to have a wider impact".

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