Director Of Egypt’s Only Independent Media Released On Bail

Journalist Lina Attalah, director of the information website Mada Masr, considered the last independent media outlet in Egypt, was released on bail Sunday night after being detained at noon while conducting an interview in Cairo, according to the report.

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Mada Masr reported that Attalah left the Maadi Police station in the southeast of the Egyptian capital, where she was taken after her arrest at around 12.00 local time (10.00 GMT) to the gates of Tora prison, located at walking distance from the Maadi neighborhood.

The journalist was arrested while interviewing Laila Soueif, the mother of blogger Alaa Abdelfatah, one of the known faces of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, currently imprisoned and on a hunger strike.

According to the information website, the Maadi Prosecutor’s Office ordered his release on bail of 2,000 Egyptian pounds (about 120 euros or $ 130), which was deposited on Sunday afternoon, hours before his release.

The reasons that led to her arrest and the charges against her are still unknown.

Last November, Attalah was detained for a few hours along with two other Mada Masr journalists during a raid by the security forces against his Cairo newsroom, from which they were transferred to the Prosecutor’s Office and later released.

After that police operation, the independent media cautiously resumed its journalistic work, but in the past two months it has reported again on sensitive or controversial issues, which are not normally mentioned in the Egyptian press.

Specifically, the director was conducting an interview with Abdelfatah’s mother, who has been on a hunger strike for more than a month to protest conditions in Egyptian prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Visits to prisoners are currently suspended as a measure against COVID-19 and the mother has tried in the past few days to deliver some medicines, vitamins and hydrating solution to the Tora prison to send them to her son, according to a statement issued this weekend for the family.

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