Sunday, November 24, 2019

Regarding Mada Masr's ordeal

Egyptian independent news website Mada Masr and its team had a very bad experience on Sunday.
Lina Attallah after the release
"Mada Masr"

It started at 1:30 PM when Mada Masr HQ in Giza’s Dokki was stormed by plain-clothed security personnel who detained the website’s journalists for several hours before releasing them and detaining for a couple of hours the website’s editor in chief Lina Attaallah and two of the website’s journalists.

Attallah along with journalist Mohamed Hamma and Rana Mamdouh were detained and transferred to Dokki police station where they stayed for a couple of hours before they were released.

The ordeal of Mada Masr on Sunday comes hours following the arrest of the website’s Arabic Shady Zalat on Saturday.
Zalat was released Sunday afternoon too.

It is unclear what Mada Masr’s team is accused of.
I have read the Journalists syndicate played a role in their release.

Yet all fingers pointed to an article published last week in Mada Masr claiming that Mahmoud El-Sisi, the Egyptian President’s eldest son was going to transfer from his work in Egypt’s General intelligence to Egypt’s Diplomatic Mission in Russia.

Mada Masr was also the first to bring the name of Mahmoud El-Sisi to the Mainstream in its investigative report about the parliamentary elections.

Needless to say , the news of what happened to Mada Masr and its connection to that article about the alleged transfer of Sisi’s son to Russia made the headlines coming from Cairo in the international media.
Those who did not know about the news report, now know about it and even share it.
Yes, Mada Masr is blocked in Egypt and you can not access it except through its parallel website or through VPN but people began to copy and paste the text as well as taking screenshots for the text in Arabic and share it.

The European Union also issued a statement slamming the raid calling for more freedoms in Egypt.

Already the French embassy had to send two officials to Mada HQ during the ordeal because it turned out that there were two French reporters from France 24 interviewing Lina Attallah in a story about Zalat’s arrest.
The whole ordeal is just sad.

Updated :
Cairo 24 News website quoted a so-called anonymous informed source claiming that the journalists were released because top sovereign apparatuses got involved and suggested that their arrest would give a very bad image to the state when there is a new open space for freedoms and a new International Youth forum that is going to be held soon.

The source also claimed that Mahmoud El-Sisi also refused that his name would be used to imprison journalists. It added that what happened to the Mada Masr team was a "hit on the wrist".
That report got juicy details about some mount Olympus fight between current and ex-ranks.
This is interesting !!

I do not need to speak about the importance of Mada Masr's role in Egyptian media now, especially now.

Anyhow what happened on Sunday is alarming and I hope it never happens again for real inshallah. 

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