Mohamed Hassan, al-Naba'a
Charge:Anti-State, False News
Imprisoned:September 26, 2016

Photojournalist Mohamed Hassan was arrested on September 26 along with photojournalists Hamdy Mokhtar and Osama al-Bishbishi, and while filming near the Journalists' Syndicate in downtown Cairo, according to news reports and local press freedom organizations.

Each of the three journalists arrested works with a different privately owned outlet, but the trio was arrested together while interviewing passersby for their opinions on a recent initiative by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi encouraging Egyptians to donate their spare change in order to fund national projects, an initiative that sparked ridicule on social media.

Security forces arrested them on the spot, without stating any clear reason, according to a statement published by news website al-Naba'a, Hassan's employer. Al-Bishbishi is a photographer and cameraman with the news website Baladi. Mokhtar is a freelance photographer who works with the newspaper el-Shaab el-Jadeed, which is generally supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership ousted in 2013.

The three journalists were interrogated by prosecutors and officers from Egypt's domestic intelligence agency throughout the night of September 27, lawyers Fatema Serag and Nourhan Hassan, who is the photojournalist Hassan's sister, told the Egyptian press freedom group Journalists Against Torture Observatory. The next morning, prosecutors charged all three with belonging to a banned organization, inciting violence and terrorism online, and publishing false news. Prosecutors ordered them held in pretrial detention for a renewable 15 days.

The lawyer Hassan said in her statement that all three journalists said they had been beaten, kicked, and electrocuted in custody. She said that Mokhtar had shown the worst signs of physical abuse, with visible bruises to his neck and back.

After being held in Kasr el Nil police station near downtown Cairo for nearly a month, the three journalists were transferred to Tora Istiqbal prison on October 29, according to their lawyers.

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