With great concern we have learned of the detention of Egyptian journalist and researcher Ismail Alexandrani. Mr. Alexandrani was arrested at Hurghada International Airport upon his arrival from Berlin on November 29, 2015 and has been held in custody since.
As an investigative journalist and critical researcher, Ismail Alexandrani has been writing about Islamist movements and developments in the Sinai Peninsula and has been advocating for the rights of the local population. A distinguished expert in the field, Mr. Alexandrani has cooperated with many international think tanks and research institutions, including the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).
We share the concern of the Egyptian government and people in the face of the growing threat of terrorism in their country. However, we are firmly convinced that this threat should neither be met with restrictions on the freedom of speech nor the suppression or intimidation of critical voices. On the contrary, critical academics and journalists such as Mr. Alexandrani and their expertise and ideas are essential to the country’s peaceful and democratic development as well as its economic recovery.
On December 8, 2015, we raised our concerns in a personal meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador in Berlin. We protest Mr. Alexandrani’s detention and join the many international voices calling for his immediate release.