National Security prosecution extended the detention of investigative journalist and sociopolitical researcher Ismail Alexandrani for 15 more days pending investigations, according to defense lawyer Mohamed Eissa.
Alexandrani is accused of belonging to a terrorist organization and disseminating false information about Sinai.
Eissa told Mada Masr that the prosecution relayed the charges leveled against Alexandrani to him in court, all of which he denied.
Alexandrani was taken into custody by National Security forces in Hurghada, where he was arrested at the airport late last month. He was then transferred to Cairo, where he was interrogated for over eight hours by National Security prosecution.
He was then detained for 15 days pending investigations, which was later renewed another 15 days on December 10.
His wife, Khadiga Gaafar, posted on her Twitter account that the next hearing will be on January 15.
“He will be in jail until January 15 for no reason,” she wrote.
Several organizations have demanded Alexandrani’s release. Fourteen Egyptian rights organizations issued a joint statement on September 1. Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists have also called for his release.
Over 70 scholars have also issued a statement demanding his release, describing him as “one of Egypt’s brightest young researchers, who has spent the last few years doing ground-breaking work on the marginalized areas of Egypt – a blind spot in academic studies of the country – as well as on political Islam.”
Alexandrani received the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in the United States from February to August and then moved to Turkey, where he has been writing for different outlets.
Alexandrani’s journalistic work is often critical of Egypt’s policies. Recent articles of his published in Beirut-based newspapers As-Safir Arabic and Al-Modon called the new Suez Canal a delusion, critically addressed the state’s war on Sinai-based militants and used local sources to report details on the Armed Forces’ battle with militants in the Western Desert.