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Egypt releases editor of Mada Masr on bail

The editor-in-chief of Egyptian media outlet Mada Masr was released on bail hours after her arrest in Cairo on Sunday.

Lina Attalah was reportedly conducting an interview with the mother of jailed activist, Alaa Abdel Fattah who is currently on hunger strike in protest over a ban on family visits amid the coronavirus outbreak, when she was detained outside the Tora Prison complex and transferred to the Maadi police station, where she remained for three hours after her bail of 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($126.53) was paid.

According to Al-Monitor, Egyptian authorities blocked access to the news site in 2017, the same year in which Atallah, one of Mada Masr’s co-founders, was named a “new generation leader” by Time magazine. The news site is one of over 500 websites currently unavailable in the country.

In November, Attalah and two other journalists were previously briefly detained after a raid by security forces on their office. The raid came just a day after the arrest of a fellow editor at the outlet, Shady Zalat, from his home in Cairo. Zalat was subsequently released.

Last week, Haisam Hasan Mahgoub, a reporter with the independent Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, was arrested on charges of terrorism and spreading fake news.

Ranked 166th out of 180 countries in this year’s World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, Egypt is considered one of the world’s biggest jailers of journalists.

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