URGENT: Statement regarding the arrest of Mada Masr colleague Shady Zalat

Our colleague Shady Zalat has been arrested.

In the early hours of November 23, security forces knocked loudly on the door of Shady’s home in Cairo, where he lives with his wife and daughter. They said they were looking for Shady and did not identify themselves or present an arrest warrant. Four plainclothes security officers entered the apartment, while a number of uniformed, armed security forces waited outside.

The officers detained Shady, confiscating his laptop, as well as his wife’s, and taking a number of documents related to his work. Several minutes after they detained Shady, the security forces, seemingly agitated, returned to the apartment, looking for his cell phone. After they retrieved it, they left and told Shady’s wife that he was being taken to the Giza security directorate. However, we have no confirmation that this is where he is being detained.

Earlier this month, security forces approached Shady’s building three separate times in a single night and questioned the bawab about Shady’s apartment, his car and his work.

Shady is 37 years old and has been working at Mada Masr as an editor since 2014. He has done nothing more than use words to report the news. His arrest marks yet another escalation in the crackdown against journalism in Egypt.

We hold Egyptian authorities responsible for his safety and well being and call for his immediate and unconditional release.



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