Egypt news outlet says police raided office, arrested editor

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian news outlet said security forces arrested its editor on Wednesday following a raid on its offices in Cairo, in the latest government action cracking down on news media.

Al-Manassa news website said in a statement that at least eight police raided its offices and searched computers. They seized one laptop, saying they would examine it, the outlet said.

The news outlet said its editor, Nora Younis, was taken in a van to a police station in Cairo’s Maadi district. She faces a charge of managing a news website without an operating licence, Al-Manassa said.

The outlet reported that Younis would remain in custody overnight at the police station and appear before prosecutors yesterday. Rights group Amnesty International in a tweet urged authorities to “protect her from any torture or other ill-treatment” while in detention.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, which oversees police, was not immediately available for comment.

Media are required to have permission to work in Egypt, but withholding accreditation is often used as a pretext to silence reporting the state sees as critical. The outlet has said in previous statements that it applied for a licence in October 2018 but has not received a response.

Younis is a rights activist, journalist and blogger. She formerly worked as a managing editor at Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt’s most popular daily.

Younis founded Al-Manassa in 2015, but authorities blocked the website in 2017, one of hundreds of sites banned or blocked in recent years.