Abdel Rahman Shaheen, Freedom and Justice Gate
Charge:Anti-State, False News, Retaliatory
Imprisoned:April 9, 2014

Shaheen, a correspondent for Freedom and Justice Gate, was arrested on the street in Suez City, according to news reports. Freedom and Justice Gate is a news website affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Egyptian government has declared a terrorist organization.

In June 2014, a Suez court sentenced Shaheen to three years in prison and 10,000 Egyptian pounds (US$1,400) on charges of inciting and committing violence during protests. His appeal was denied on December 25, 2014, according to his employer, and again on October 7, 2015, according to the local press freedom group Journalists Against Torture Observatory.

Freedom and Justice Gate condemned the arrest and denied the allegations against Shaheen in a statement issued shortly after the journalist's arrest. Shaheen's wife said the court did not allow his defense lawyer to present his case and did not inform them of the verdict, news reports said.

In February 2015, another Suez court sentenced Shaheen to an additional three years on charges of aiding terrorism and broadcasting false news, according to the Journalists Against Torture Observatory. Shaheen is appealing both sentences, but the trials had not begun in late 2016.

In February 2015, a military court began trying the journalist on multiple charges of murder allegedly committed on August 14 and 16, 2013, according to news reports. On August 14, 2013, security forces violently dispersed a sit-in of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi at the Raba'a Al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo. Hundreds died in the dispersal, triggering violence and unrest throughout the country, in which dozens more people were killed.

On December 22, 2015, the military court convicted the journalist of the charges and sentenced him to life in prison, according to news reports and regional press freedom groups.

His wife told press freedom groups that despite being in prison since the military trial began, he was not transferred from prison to court to attend any hearings in this trial and was therefore listed in the military court's documents as "a fugitive from the law."

In a letter written by Shaheen in prison and published by his outlet in August 2015, the journalist denied all charges against him and said he believed he was targeted due to his former affiliation with the international broadcaster Al-Jazeera, which Egypt banned on the accusation that it uses its reporting to serve the interests of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Jazeera confirmed to CPJ in October 2015 that Shaheen had been working for the network up until his arrest, but that he and his family requested that the outlet not campaign for his release for fear that it could harm his chances of release.

Shaheen is being held in Gamasa prison, according to local press freedom groups quoting his wife. Prison guards have denied her rights to visit Shaheen on more than one occasion, she said.

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