Egyptian journalist freed from UAE detention

Anas Fouda allowed to leave after being held incommunicado for a month, family tells media rights group.

    UAE security officials told Fouda he was banned from leaving the country [Image from Twitter]
    UAE security officials told Fouda he was banned from leaving the country [Image from Twitter]

    An Egyptian journalist detained for more than a month in the United Arab Emirates has been released, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

    Anas Fouda, an editor with the MBC media group that owns Al-Arabiya television, was barred from leaving Dubai's international airport on June 28, according to the media rights group Reporters Without Borders (known by its French acronym, RSF).

    RSF said Fouda was taken to the state security department on July 3, in response to a summons, and did not leave. The Paris-based watchdog said that, before going, Fouda told colleagues he was worried about the outcome.

    Jason Stern, a researcher with CPJ, said on Twitter on Sunday night that Fouda had been released and was on his way back to Egypt.

    CPJ released a statement last week saying Fouda had contacted them after he was told he was banned from leaving the country, as he was concerned for his security.

    Fouda told the CPJ he could have been targeted in part because his writings supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, whose government was ousted in a popularly backed military coup last month.

    According to local Egyptian media, Fouda was the third Egyptian journalist to be detained in the UAE over the past year. Mohamed Ali Mousa, a reporter for the Emirati paper Al Khalij was detained at the start of July, and Ahmed Gaffar, a reporter for another Emirati paper Al Ittihad, was detained in December 2012.

    RSF said Fouda is a senior editor who works with various news media including Al-Arabiya and Al-Aswaq.net and keeps a blog on Egyptian politics.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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