Egyptian blogger released, but only partially | RSF

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes well-known Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah’s release from prison after five years in detention, but deplores the fact that his release is only partial and that he will have to spend every night in a police station for the next five years.

A popular figure during the 2011 revolution who had 700,000 followers on Twitter, Fattah was sentenced to five years in prison on 23 February 2015 after a year in preventive detention. 

Under the terms of his release on 29 March, he will have to spend every night in a police station, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., for the next five years, like the recently released photographer Shawkan.

“The only kind of freedom is unconditional and total,” RSF’s Middle East desk said. “Forcing Alaa Abdel Fattah, who has already served a five-year jail sentence, to continue spending 12 of every 24 hours in a police station is a just a pointless prolongation of an already unfair punishment.”

Around 30 journalists are currently detained in Egypt, which is ranked 161st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.