Nora Younis, the chief editor of news outlet Al-Manassa, was detained on Wednesday afternoon after security forces raided the office, according to Al-Manassa.
The executive editor of the site, Sayyid Turki, told Mada Masr that a police force who claimed to be from the Artistic Products Police Department raided the office and examined their computers on the pretext of verifying that they are operating with authentic licensed copies. They seized two laptops using the open-source Ubuntu operating system and said they would examine them at the headquarters of the Artistic Products Police Department in the Mohandeseen district of Giza.
Younis was detained and appeared hours later at the Maadi police station and faces possible charges of managing a website without a license, according to Al-Manassa’s lawyer. This comes despite authorities reviewing the website’s receipt for its license application. Younis will appear before prosecutors tomorrow morning. She will be held overnight at the Maadi police station, the lawyer said.
Younis was one of the first prominent bloggers in Egypt. She has worked as a journalist for 15 years, including at the Washington Post and as the website managing editor for Al-Masry Al-Youm between 2008 and 2012. In 2015, she founded the Al-Manassa website and has been running it as chief editor since.
The site has been blocked in Egypt since 2017. It is one of over 500 websites blocked in Egypt, including Mada Masr.
*UPDATE [8:26 pm]: This piece has been updated to reflect Younis’ appearance at the Maadi police station and the possible charges she faces.
[9:05pm]: Updated to reflect that Younis will be held overnight.