Egypt says it will free Yemeni journalist arrested a month ago

Published on 4 March 2014 in News
Amal Al-Yarisi (author)

Amal Al-Yarisi


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A heated discussion about Egyptian defense minister, Abdulfatah Al-Sisi, attracted the attention of security forces the day Shamsan was arrested at a Cairo book fair.

A heated discussion about Egyptian defense minister, Abdulfatah Al-Sisi, attracted the attention of security forces the day Shamsan was arrested at a Cairo book fair.

SANA’A, March 3—Egyptian authorities said on Monday that they would release a Yemeni journalist, blogger and youth activist who has been detained by Egyptian forces in Cairo for a month. As of Monday evening, he was still being held.

Feras Shamsan, a Yemeni national who lives in Egypt and has a blog that focuses on art, was arrested after photographing a book fair in early February.

Abdulrahman Al-Zailai, the head of the information department at the Foreign Ministry told the Yemen Times that Mohammed Al-Atafi, consul general of the Yemeni embassy in Egypt, has been closely following Shamsan’s case.

“Shamsan will be deported to Yemen in the next two days,” Al-Zailai said, adding that Shamsan will be banned from entering Egypt.

Shamsan, he said, was accused of working for “biased TV channels.”  

In a message posted on his Facebook page, Shamsan said the Egyptian authorities have decided to release him but he is still in custody waiting to finalize release procedures.

Ali Al-Dailami, the head of Yemeni Organization for Defending Freedoms and Rights, said the day Shamsan was arrested there was a headed conversation at the bookfaire about the Egyptian defense minister, Abdulfatah Al-Sisi, which attracted the attention of security forces.

Al-Dailami said the Yemeni embassy in Egypt began following the case closely after a number of rights organizations called on Yemen’s foreign minister, Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi, to step in.  

Four Al-Jazeera English journalists who were arrested in late December in Egypt remain in custody.