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Egyptian journalist still missing after being detained by police

Egypt has clamped down on free speech and media [Getty-file photo]

Date of publication: 21 February, 2018

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HuffPost Arabi journalist Moataz Wadnan and his family members were detained on 13 February at a checkpoint in a Cairo suburb.
Egyptian authorities should make public any information about the whereabouts of HuffPost Arabi journalist Moataz Wadnan who was detained on 16 February, the Committee to Protect Journalists have demanded.

Wadnan and three of his relatives were stopped and detained at a checkpoint in the Cairo suburb of Mounib. His relatives were released later that day, but Wadnan was transferred to the Fifth Settlement Police Station on 18 February, according to HuffPost Arabi.

Wadnan's family filed a complaint to the Egyptian Prosecutor for information about his whereabouts.

On 12 February, Wadnan had interviewed Hisham Geneina, a member of Sami Anan's presidential campaign.

During the interview, Geneina said he had secret documents showing military leaders were involved in "post-25 January violence".

Geneina was arrested the following day on 13 February, a few weeks after Anan's arrest on 23 January.

Presidential elections in Egypt are due on 26-28 March. The Egyptian government has censored critical reporting and detained journalists in the lead up to the polls.

"The Egyptian authorities practices of arresting, hiding, and intimidating journalists undercuts the already slim chances of having free elections," said Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa Programme Coordinator, in a press release.

Egyptian authorities enacted harsh measures in April 2017 that have been used to censor media outlets and lay "false news" charges against journalists.

At least 496 websites - including HuffPost Arabi and The New Arab - have been blocked by the Egyptian government since May 2017.

Two young journalistsHassan al-Banna and Mostafa al-Aasar - were also detained this month.

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