Egypt Military Court Sentences Journalist Ismail Alexandrani to 10 Years Amidst Wider Crackdown

June 6, 2018

The World Movement for Democracy expresses its deep concern over the unjust 10-year sentence handed to journalist and researcher Ismail Alexandrani by an Egyptian military court on May 22, 2018. Alexandrani, a winner of the World Youth Movement for Democracy’s International Essay Contest on Youth and Democracy, is a well-known expert on Sinai affairs and Islamic movements in Egypt. He also previously served as a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy and as a researcher at the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights.

Alexandrani was arrested on November 29, 2015, facing charges of obtaining and publishing military secrets, joining a banned organization, and publishing false news abroad. After nearly two years in pretrial detention, his case was referred by the Supreme State Security Prosecution to a military court. Following his arrest, more than 70 researchers from around the world issued a joint-statement calling for his release, which noted: “Alexandrani is one of Egypt’s brightest young researchers, who has spent the last few years doing ground-breaking work on the marginalized areas of Egypt…[his] arrest is a repression of free speech and should be condemned.”

His sentencing comes amidst a wider crackdown on journalists, members of civil society, and activists in Egypt. The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) warns that the arrests of prominent democracy advocates signals President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s intention to further transform Egypt from an environment that “limits independent political space” to one that “wants to eliminate it entirely.”

The World Movement for Democracy expresses solidarity with activists arbitrarily detained and imprisoned in recent weeks and joins the international community in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Ismail Alexandrani. Join us in telling the government of Egypt to #SetThemFree by sharing this alert!