Nearly 2,000 people were arrested in September during demonstrations against the government [Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters]

A media watchdog has called on the Egyptian authorities to immediately release journalists Alaa Abdelfattah, Nasser Abdelhafez, Engi Abdel Wahab and three others arrested for reporting the recent protests against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

In a statement published on Monday, the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) noted that at least six journalists have been arrested since the anti-government protests started on September 19.

“Egyptian authorities must stop arresting journalists on charges of spreading false news or joining a banned group; those charges have become nothing more than thin excuses to arrest journalists for their coverage,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour.

“Taking

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