Egypt court accepts appeal against Ismail Alexandrani's release, renews his detention

Tuesday 22-11-2016 02:22 PM

Egyptian researcher and journalist Ismail Alexandrani

CAIRO, Nov 22 (Aswat Masriya) - A Cairo Court accepted the prosecution’s appeal against the release of journalist and researcher Ismail Alexandrani, and ordered his detention for 45 more days pending investigation, according to lawyer Mokhtar Mounir.

The court had ordered on Sunday the release of Alexandrani pending investigation after spending over 350 days in pre-trail detention, before the prosecution appealed the decision, blocking his release.

The internationally acclaimed researcher, an expert on Sinai affairs, has been detained since Nov. 29, 2015 when he was arrested at Egypt's Hurghada airport upon his return from a U.S. and Europe seminar tour.

He was accused of spreading false news aiming at damaging the national interest and disturbing the public peace and joining the now banned Muslim Brotherhood group, all of which he denied. 

His pre-trial detention has been repeatedly renewed since then.

Alexandrani is a multiple-award winning journalist and researcher, who has spoken about Sinai affairs in seminars across the world, according to his blog. North Sinai is the site of fighting between insurgents and Egyptian security forces, which say they have killed hundreds of militants over the past months. 

The researcher was nominated in October, along with 22 other journalists, for the 2016 Reporters Without Borders-TV5 Monde Prize for Press Freedom.

Solidarity campaigns and condemnations were quick to emerge following his arrest, with Human Rights Watch (HRW) describing the arrest as "unlawful." Both HRW and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) among others, called for his release.

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