Independent Egyptian media outlet says top editor arrested
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Independent Egyptian media outlet says top editor arrested

Mada Masr says Lina Attalah was taken into custody outside Cairo’s Tora prison complex where she had been interviewing the mother of a jailed activist

Lina Attalah, editor-in-chief of Mada Masr, a prominent investigative media outlet in Egypt, participates in a panel discussion at cultural center  in Cairo, Egypt, on November 24, 2017. (AP/Roger Anis/File)
Lina Attalah, editor-in-chief of Mada Masr, a prominent investigative media outlet in Egypt, participates in a panel discussion at cultural center in Cairo, Egypt, on November 24, 2017. (AP/Roger Anis/File)

CAIRO (AP) — A prominent investigative media outlet in Egypt said that security forces detained its editor-in-chief on Sunday, the latest arrest amid a wider crackdown on dissent.

Mada Masr, one of a shrinking number of independent news websites in Egypt, said Lina Attalah was arrested outside Cairo’s Tora prison complex during an interview with Laila Soueif, the mother of jailed activist Alaa Abd El Fattah.

The outlet said Attalah was being held at a police station in southern Cairo, officials there said, and she would be questioned by prosecutors Monday.

Abdel Fattah served a five-year prison sentence for violating Egypt’s protest ban. In September, not long after his release, he was arrested again amid a widespread crackdown that followed small protests demanding that current President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi step down — although he did not participate in the protests.

The jailed activist went on hunger strike over a month ago, and his family has been struggling to get him released in recent months, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Soueif was briefly arrested in March along with three others, after they staged a protest to demand the release of prisoners during the new coronavirus outbreak.

Mada Masr is one of the hundreds of websites blocked by the Egyptian government in recent years. The outlet has continued to publish through mirror sites. It has produced investigative pieces looking into some of Egypt’s government institutions, including the intelligence agencies, military, and presidency.

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