CAIRO: The pre-trial detention of journalist and researcher Ismail Alexandrani was extended Sunday by 15 days pending investigations into accusations he allegedly belongs to a terrorist group and spread false news, Youm7 quoted Cairo State Security court decision Sunday.
Alexandrani, who specializes in Sinai-related issues, has denied all charges drawn against him, saying that his reports are of “news nature.”
In December 2015, he was arrested at Hurghada International Airport on arrival from Berlin; his detention has been renewed ever since. His wife Khadeega Gaafar claimed his arrest came after a memo drafted by the Egyptian embassy in Berlin against him.
Many rights groups have called for his immediate release to end restrictions to freedom of expression.
Several travel bans have been issued for academics and rights advocates, who were barred from travel or arrested on arrival at the airport.
In January, German-Egyptian researcher Atef Botros was denied entry at the Cairo Airport and deported back to Germany.
Both prominent investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat and rights advocate Gamal Eid were barred from traveling during the past two months, with authorities refusing to declare the reasons for their blacklisting. They are both among other rights groups being investigated over a 2011 case against non-governmental organizations, which was recently reopened.
Different local and international rights groups voiced their concerns on escalated crackdown on NGOs work in Egypt.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ,) Egypt has become the second worst jailer of journalists worldwide.