CAIRO: The Port Said Attorney General ordered the detention of freelance journalist Rasha Gafaar for 15 days pending investigations over allegations she produced false news and footage about Egypt for the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network and its Egyptian affiliate Mubasher Misr, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Monday.
Gafaar was arrested in her Port Said apartment Wednesday, and a laptop, print materials allegedly inciting against the Egyptian army, a mobile phone and other equipment was seized. Rabaa signs, a symbol of sympathy for deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, were also reportedly found with the suspect.
The Ministry of Interior said the phone contained video being aired by Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr just before Gafaar’s arrest, and the channel stopped broadcasting the video once police had the phone according to Al-Masry Al-Youm
Al Jazeera broadcasted news of Gafaar’s detention without saying whether or not she works for the network. It reported she was charged with filming empty polling stations during Egypt’s presidential election from May 26-28.
Three journalists from Al Jazeera English were also arrested in December and are being tried on charges of aiding the MB, which was declared a terrorist group by Egyptian authorities in December.
They are also facing charges of fabricating footage to undermine Egypt’s national security.
In its Friday statement, the Revolutionary Coalition of Port Said Women expressed its solidarity and support for all detainees and demanded their immediate release.
“We demand fair trials for the detainees, conducted by independent courts. We also demand the end of systematic torture practiced on those in custody,” the statement said.