Egypt – “A Dangerous Place for Journalists”

Abdulmonem Mahmood - a journalist who fled Egypt. Photo credit: @moneimpress

Abdulmonem Mahmood – a journalist who fled Egypt. Photo credit: @moneimpress

Egyptian blogger and journalist Abdulmonem Mahmood has left Egypt, saying he fears for his life.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 40 local and international journalists have been arrested or detained since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. And at least eight journalists have been killed since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The CPJ also accuses Egypt of conducting a “campaign of harassment on local and international journalists seeking to cover the ongoing political crisis in the country” –

“Through a series of arrests, prosecutions, assaults and censorship, the Egyptian government has made one thing crystal clear to journalists: Deviate from the official narrative at your own risk,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “The authorities must stop this attempt at quashing independent and critical reporting. They can start by freeing all journalists in prison or under arrest.”

On Twitter, Mahmood writes [ar]:

I have left Egypt some time ago and now my family has joined me. Yes, I fled fearing for my life, that I would be killed by treachery, have my body burned or get killed in the transfer car [after my arrest], and then my colleagues would call me a terrorist

He adds:

My wife and I work as journalists. After the coup, we were subjected to threats we have not experienced in Mubarak's era. For your information, I have been jailed three times during Mubarak's rule.

And Mahmood concludes:

Journalism now in Egypt is only available for the correspondents [of the army] and the editors in chief, who are [in the pockets of] the secret service. Journalism as a profession has become one of the most dangerous jobs after the coup

He does not say where he is or what he is doing now.

Here's a Global Voices story from 2007 of one of the times Mahmood was previously arrested.

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