CAIRO: The pre-trial detention of Ismail Alexandrani, a journalist and researcher, was renewed Monday for 45 days pending investigations into accusations he allegedly belongs to a terrorist group and spread false news, according to a Cairo Criminal Court decision.
In December 2015, Alexandrani was arrested at Hurghada International Airport on arrival from Berlin; his detention has been renewed ever since. His wife Khadeega Gaafar claimed his arrest followed a complaint drafted by the Egyptian embassy in Berlin against him.
Specializes in Sinai-related issues, Alexandrani has denied all charges drawn against him, saying that his reports are of “news nature.”
Several travel bans have been issued for academics and rights advocates in the last few years.
In the past few months, both prominent investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat and rights advocate Gamal Eid were barred from traveling 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.
In January, German-Egyptian researcher Atef Botros was denied entry at the Cairo Airport and deported to Germany.
Different local and international rights groups voiced their concerns on escalated crackdown on NGOs work in Egypt, as an anti-torture rehabilitation center, El-Nadeem, was threatened to be closed over alleged license violation.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ,) Egypt has become the second worst jailer of journalists worldwide.