Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Thursday called on the UN to work for the release of a former Anadolu Agency editor who has been detained in Egypt for the last two months.
In a statement, the group said Egyptian Tawfiq Ghanem, former Middle East editor and correspondent for Anadolu Agency, was forcibly taken from his home early on May 21, and detained and brought before a state security prosecutor five days later.
His imprisonment has been renewed every 15 days since then, the group said, urging the UN special rapporteurs on freedom of expression, torture, the independence of judges and lawyers and the right to health, as well as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Arrests, to press for his release.
The group called on the UN to take all necessary measures towards Egypt to work for Gamin’s immediate and unconditional release, the statement added.
On the night of May 20-21, security forces raided 65-year-old Ghanem’s home without being able to produce an arrest or search warrant, remanding the former reporter in custody on May 21.
Kept in an unknown location until his interrogation at the Supreme State Security Prosecutor’s Office on May 26, Ghanem was investigated on the accusation of joining a terrorist group.
His interrogation focused on Ghanem’s career as a journalist and his work for Anadolu Agency rather than the accusations, according to prosecutors.
As part of his more than 30 years in journalism, Ghanem acted as head of Media International, a media company which pioneered the development of digital publishing and online journalism in the Arab world from 1999 to 2010.
He served as Middle East news editor at Anadolu Agency from 2012 until his retirement in 2015.