Update: 2 photojournalists and 4 Ultras White Knights disappear, eyewitness sees police arresting them
Ahmed Abdel Gawad and Adel Eissa

Photojournalists Ahmed Abdel Gawad and Adel Eissa were arrested on Thursday night at a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Cairo as they were on their way to a wedding, lawyer Karim Abdel Rady told Mada Masr, citing an eyewitness.

Arrested along with two photojournalists were four members of the Zamalek football club fan group the Ultras White Knights, lawyer Mohamed Hafez told Mada Masr.

Abdel Gawad works for privately owned daily Al-Shorouk and Eissa works for privately owned website Al-Mobtada.

Abdel Gawad’s family sent a formal notification to the public prosecutor and the Interior Ministry requesting a probe into his disappearance, according to Abdel Rady, who said the whereabouts of both photojournalists remains unknown.

Security forces began a crackdown on the Ultras White Knights two weeks ago, arresting Mostafa Abdallah from his home on March 21 and another member four days ago. The whereabouts of both Zamalek fans remains unknown.

In recent weeks several journalists have been disappeared and their whereabouts remained unknown for days or weeks at a time, before being brought before the prosecution.

Photojournalist Wagdy Khaled reappeared on Thursday in the Smart Village police station in October 6 after being reported missing several weeks ago, lawyer Ali al-Halawany told former Journalists Syndicate board member Khaled al-Balshy, according to a Facebook post Balshy wrote on Friday.

On February 15, about two weeks after going missing, journalists Mostafa al-Asar and Hassan al-Banna were brought to the state security prosecution. Banna, who was interning for Al-Shorouk, and Asar, who worked for Ultra Sawt news website, now face charges of disseminating false news in Case 441/2018.

Several other journalists are also charged in the case. One is Moataz Wadnan, who disappeared on February 16 after interviewing Hesham Geneina, who was removed from his post as Egypt’s top auditor by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in 2016 after reporting on corruption in state institutions. Wadnan re-appeared at the Fifth Settlement Police Station several days later.

Adel Sabry, editor in chief of privately owned news website Masr al-Arabia, was also detained for 15 days on Thursday on charges of inciting protests, disseminating false news and promoting the amendment of the Constitution. Sabry was apprehended when a police force raided the office on Tuesday evening.

On March 30, Al-Manassa news website became the latest target of a spate of website blocks that now prevents users from accessing around 500 websites on Egyptian internet service providers.


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