The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has expressed its grave concern over the detention of Egyptian investigative journalist and researcher Ismail Alexandrani, who served as a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies in 2012–2013.
Alexandrani was detained upon arrival at Egypt’s Hurghada airport on Sunday, November 29, following a trip to Berlin, and later questioned by authorities for nine hours in Cairo, before being charged with various alleged crimes related to his reporting on Egypt.
Alexandrani denies all charges.
While expressing concern over Alexandrani’s arrest, NED president, Carl Gershman, said, “As a blogger, researcher, and human rights advocate, Ismail Alexandrani has been an unwavering voice for some of Egypt’s most marginalized communities, and an inspiration to many with his vision of a more inclusive Egypt.
“We are deeply troubled by the news of his detention and the Egyptian government’s criminalization of peaceful expression.”
During his fellowship at NED, Alexandrani considered the role of digital and traditional media in Egypt and how new media may serve as a voice for marginalized populations. In 2014, he won an Open Eye Award for an essay on Cairo, and in 2009, he was a winner of the World Youth Movement for Democracy’s international essay contest.
NED joins with other international organizations in calling for Alexandrani’s immediate and unconditional release.
By Patrick Aigbokhan