'I am being arrested': Egyptian blogger blindfolded and dragged away in night

Henrietta Strickland
May 23, 2018

ANHRI said: "They took Abbas blindfolded to unknown whereabouts after they seized computers, phones, books and other things from the house".

Abbas announced his arrest on his Facebook page by writing "I am being detained".

Abbas' Twitter account was suspended past year as President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi's government pressed a crackdown on dissent, which rights groups say is the worst ever in Egypt. "This is all very scary for the government".

In December 2017, Twitter faced sharp criticism after the account of Abbas was suspended. His Facebook account, which continues to work until today, has been hacked, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Abbas has always been vocal about the political situation in Egypt both before and after the uprising of 2011, regularly campaigning against torture and publishing graphic videos showing torture and police abuse on his blog, misrdigital.com.

Alexandrani was also known for his anti-regime writings and for criticising the military's role in politics, and was a contributor to publications including the French online magazine Orient XXI, which confirmed his sentencing on Twitter.

"Abbas was documenting the Egyptian government's violations for many years on his social media accounts".

Alexandrani, an expert on jihadism in the Sinai peninsula, was arrested in November 2015 and accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Documenting the cases of three Egyptian bloggers who had been arrested in recent months, the report detailed the recent extension of Egypt's crackdown on journalists to include bloggers as well.

Deputy Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Robert Mahoney, said that "hauling a journalist before a military court not only violates [Alexandrani's] rights as a civilian but sends a chilling message to the media that independent coverage of political dissent and security threats will not be tolerated by Egypt's rulers". "There are some private newspapers but that doesn't mean they are actually free".

"What happened to Ismail just encourages more young Egyptians to flee their country, and possibly decide not to go back out of fear that they might be arbitrarily detained for some reason", Mr Badawi told The National. "There is no freedom for the press for this move [to arrest Abbas] to have a wider impact".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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