Issued on: 17/05/2020 – 19:17Modified: 17/05/2020 – 19:17

Egyptian security services on Sunday arrested the editor-in-chief of prominent independent news outlet Mada Masr, its lawyer said, the latest in a crackdown against journalists.

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Lina Attallah was arrested outside Cairos Tora prison as she was interviewing rights activist Laila Soueif, mother of jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, according to the news outlet.

“The prison security guards asked Attallah to show her identification card and later called her in for an investigation that lasted three hours,” lawyer Hassan al-Azhari told AFP.

“We knew afterwards that she was taken to a police station in Maadi district and that she will appear before the prosecution tomorrow (Monday) morning,” he said.

Azhari added that the reason behind the arrest and the charges against Attallah remained unclear.

Mada Masr is an Egyptian online outlet that investigates corruption and security issues in both Arabic and English.

Its website has in recent years been blocked in Egypt along with around a hundred others critical of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisis government.

The publication has sought to bypass the block through mirror sites.

Warnings of crackdown on press freedom

Attalahs arrest comes as a range of human rights and press freedom groups have warned of a deepening crackdown on press freedom in Sisis Egypt.

“Since 2016, the authorities in Egypt have subjected dozens of journalists and other media workers to a catalogue of violations just for doing their jobs or expressing their views. Dozens of journalists have been arbitrarily detained on spurious terrorism-related charges or had their workplaces raided,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty Internationals Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director in a statement earlier this month.

In November, security forces raided Mada Masrs offices in Cairo and questioned journalists there.

On Thursday, the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) saidRead More – Source