Al Jazeera Media Network is saddened and deeply dismayed by the death of journalist Mohamed Monir after contracting Covid-19 during his unwarranted imprisonment in Egypt. He was arrested and charged of ‘spreading fake news’ whilst being interviewed by Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera extends its sincerest condolences to the family of Mohamed Monir.
We reiterate the seriousness of the deteriorating health conditions in Egyptian prisons amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, Al Jazeera is deeply concerned for the health and safety of all journalists including our colleague Mahmoud Hussein who has been detained for 1300 days without trial in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons under extreme and inhumane conditions. Overcrowded Egyptian prisons are known for their unhygienic conditions, which during the current pandemic can pose an imminent threat to prisoners, ultimately endangering their lives and wellbeing.
Reacting to the news, Dr Mostefa Souag, Acting Director-General of Al Jazeera Media Network said; “I am extremely saddened by journalist Mohamed Monir’s death, having passed away a day post release upon being infected by the coronavirus whilst in detention in grave conditions that we had previously warned the Egyptian authorities about” - referring to Al Jazeera’s previous communications with international bodies, highlighting the grave prison conditions endured by hundreds of journalists, including our colleague Mahmoud Hussein.
He further added; “It is truly alarming that journalists are subjected to such inhumane conditions during the current pandemic, and hold the Egyptian government fully responsible for their wellbeing, safety, and security. We urge the authorities to immediately release Mahmoud and all other unjustly imprisoned journalists.”.
Egyptian authorities arrested journalist Mohamed Monir on June 15th, 2020 after his appearance on Al Jazeera. Mohamed Monir’s death due to medical negligence should not go in vain. Al Jazeera reiterates its call to all journalists, human rights advocates and people of conscience to stand with all imprisoned journalists, expressing their solidarity demanding their immediate freedom.
We cannot remain silent in the face of this abhorrent injustice that our colleagues endure.