Egyptian police has raided the parental home of journalist Mohamed el-Garhy on Wednesday night, January 01, but failing to find him there, they arrested his brother instead.
Currently, el-Garhy said his brother’s whereabouts were not immediately known and they have not yet received a statement from the police.
El-Garhy, who is known for his critical view of the current Egyptian government, tweeted that the police came to the home of his parents located in the northeast of Cairo asking for his whereabouts. When told that he is in the city, the police woke up his brother and took him instead.
“My brother Yasser has never been interested in politics and has not done anything wrong,” el-Garhy wrote on Thursday, mockingly thanking Egyptian authorities for “maltreatment and humiliation”.
Despite the tightening of the grip on independent news media in Egypt, el-Garhy has often voiced criticism of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s government and recently spoke up on his Facebook page in support of Shady el-Ghazaly Harb, a prominent political activist who has been detained for over a year.
Egypt, ranked 163 out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Index, remains among the world’s worst jailers of journalists, along with Turkey and China, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists, a US-based watchdog.
In recent years, authorities have jailed dozens of Egyptian reporters and occasionally expelled some foreign journalists from the country.
Since coming into power following a military coup in 2013, el-Sisi, a general-turned-president, has overseen an unprecedented political crackdown, silencing critics and jailing thousands.
Rights groups and media watchdogs have repeatedly condemned the mass arrests and crackdown.
“The rate at which journalists are being arrested is unprecedented since Abdel Fattah el-Sisi became president,” Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk, said in a statement last month.
“The fact this crackdown on media personnel is continuing although the street protests have been suppressed is all the more worrying.” (Source: News24)