Egyptian blogger and political activist Wael Abbas has been detained on charges connected to terrorist activities and spreading false news. Norwegian PEN believes that the charges against Abbas’ are related to his peaceful activism and writings critical of the Egyptian government.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Norwegian PEN is deeply concerned about the detention of the blogger and political activist Wael Abbas, who has been arbitrary detained since his arrest on 24 May 2018.
Abbas has been accused of “joining a terrorist group in realizing its objectives”, “spreading false news damaging public security and public interest” and using social media to spread ideas inciting to commit terrorist acts”. According to reports, Abbas’s file has been included in the judicial case No. 441 of 2018, which also includes journalists and activists such as Mostafa al-Asar, Hassan al-Banna and Ezzat Ghoneim who is a lawyer and the head of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms. Abbas remains detained at Tora prison pending the investigation.
PEN International believes that the charges against Abbas’ are related to his peaceful activism and writings critical of the Egyptian government. Norwegian PEN will call for his immediate and unconditional release and for all charges against him to be dropped.
We ask Egyptian authorities to ensure that the right to freedom of expression in Egypt is fully respected in law and practice in accordance with the Egyptian Constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a state party.
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee
The Egyptian Embassy in Norway
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Justice Mohamed Hossam Abdel Rahim
Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar