Egypt: Journalist held for showing on Al Jazeera dies of virus

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Egyptian journalist Mohamed Monir, who was arrested final month after showing on Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network, has died after contracting COVID-19 throughout pretrial detention, in response to a media watchdog.
The 65-year-old’s loss of life, introduced late on Monday in a Facebook publish by his daughter Sarah Monir, got here every week after he was hospitalised with COVID-19 following his launch from detention on July 2 resulting from his illness. “We are extremely disturbed by journalist Mohamed Monir’s death today after he spent more than two weeks unnecessarily held in pretrial detention at Cairo’s notorious Tora Prison,” Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), mentioned in a press release.
Monir was affected by diabetes, hypertension and severe coronary heart issues, in response to the CPJ.
The veteran journalist was arrested on July 14 on fees of becoming a member of “a terrorist group”, spreading false information and misusing social media after showing on Al Jazeera, which is banned by Egypt’s authorities.
Political prisoners in Egypt might be held in pretrial detention for years on imprecise fees, usually in what rights teams describe as unhealthy circumstances with out correct entry to medical care.
His arrest got here as Egypt steps up a crackdown on the press that it has been waging since Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led the military’s 2013 overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president. “We are extremely disturbed by journalist Mohamed Monir’s death today after he spent more than two weeks unnecessarily held in pretrial detention at Cairo’s notorious Tora Prison,” mentioned @CPJMENA’s Program Coordinator @sherifmnsour.
— Committee to Protect Journalists (@pressfreedom) July 13, 2020 “Egyptian authorities must release all journalists held for their work, as even brief detentions amid the COVID-19 pandemic can mean a death sentence,” mentioned Mansour.
In a press release, Al Jazeera mentioned it was “saddened and deeply dismayed” by the loss of life of Monir after contracting COVID-19 throughout his “unwarranted imprisonment” and expressed its condolences to the journalist’s household. “We reiterate the seriousness of the deteriorating health conditions in Egyptian prisons amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” it mentioned, noting the overcrowded services “are known for their unhygienic conditions, which during the current pandemic can pose an imminent threat to prisoners, ultimately endangering their lives and wellbeing”. “Al Jazeera is deeply concerned for the health and safety of all journalists including our colleague Mahmoud Hussein who has been detained for 1,300 days without trial in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons under extreme and inhumane conditions.” 
An Egyptian nationwide, Hussein was arrested shortly after his arrival in Egypt on December 20, 2016, whereas on a private go to. He has but to be formally charged.
Last 12 months, an Egyptian court docket rejected an order by the state prosecutor to launch him. Authorities opened a brand new investigation towards him with unspecified fees and returned him to jail.
In May, the CPJ documented the arrests of at the least 4 Egyptian journalists, together with Sameh Haneen, a Coptic Christian who additionally faces fees of becoming a member of a “terrorist” organisation.
The inside ministry later revealed video footage of an alleged confession by Haneen, through which he claimed he had been paid 1000’s of {dollars} for producing movies crucial of the federal government for Al Jazeera on the request of members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt and its Gulf allies – Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – have boycotted Qatar since June 2017, accusing it of “supporting terrorists” and interfering in its neighbour’s affairs, accusations Doha strongly denies.
Egypt ranks because the third-worst jailer of journalists behind China and Turkey, in response to the CPJ. SOURCE: Al Jazeera and information companies

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