Forcibly disappeared journalist brought before State Security Prosecution
Hassan al-Banna and Mostafa al-Aasar - Courtesy: Abd al-Rahman Faris' Facebook page

Journalist Mostafa al-Asar was brought before State Security Prosecution on Saturday for interrogations that began on Thursday, according to his lawyer Halim Hanish.

The prosecution also handed Asar a 15-day detention order in the Saturday session, pending investigation into charges of joining an outlawed group and disseminating false news.

Asar, who works for the Ultra Sawt news website, was forcibly disappeared on February 4 alongside journalist Hassan al-Banna as they made their way to work in the Giza neighborhood of Dokki.

The lawyer also told Mada Masr that the prosecution asked the journalist about his political views and the nature of his journalistic work during the interrogation. 

While Hanish attended the interrogation, he was prevented from speaking to his client in private.

Banna, who was brought before State Security Prosecution on Thursday, is set to resume his interrogation on Sunday. However, where Banna and Asar are being held remains unknown.

Mahmoud Kamel, who sits on the board of the Journalists Syndicate, previously told Mada Masr that 31 journalists are currently imprisoned, some of whom have been officially sentenced, while others remain in pretrial detention and are yet to go to trial.

The family of journalist Hossam al-Wakil have also been unable to ascertain his whereabouts since his December 30 arrest. The Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms published a statement on February 7 on behalf of the family, demanding that authorities reveal Wakil’s whereabouts.

Omar al-Sayyed, a journalist at the Middle East News Agency, has also been missing since police arrested him from his home in Helwan in November.


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