Update: On December 1, prosecutors ordered al-Iskandrani held for 15 days pending investigation. Lawyers told Human Rights Watch that prosecutors were investigating al-Iskandrani on three charges: belonging to an illegal group (the Muslim Brotherhood) and promoting its ideas, as well as propagating false news.
The lead defense lawyer, Khaled Ali, told al-Tahrir newspaper that police arrested al-Iskandrani under a warrant issued in May but that prosecutors did not allow lawyers to read the warrant memo. Al-Iskandrani’s family said they did not know that he had been wanted by the authorities or that they had charged him in any case. Multiple media outlets reported that al-Iskandrani told prosecutors that security officers at the airport decided to hold him for further interrogation after they searched his laptop and found articles he wrote about the Sinai Peninsula and other political issues.
Prosecutors should drop the charges against al-Iskandrani, which appear to be entirely based on his work as a journalist and researcher, and release him.
(New York) – Egyptian authorities should release Ismail al-Iskandrani, a researcher and journalist who has reported on Islamist movements and developments in the Sinai Peninsula. He has been detained since November 29, 2015.
Lawyers engaged by his family and Egyptian rights groups told Human Rights Watch that al-Iskandrani faced lengthy interrogations at the State Security Prosecution office in Cairo on December 1.