Egypt extends detention of Israeli ‘infiltrator'

Andre Pshenichnikov is suspected of espionage; ‘Post’ blogger Ahmed Meligy arrested, allegedly because of his blog, sources say.

Andre Pshenichnikov 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Facebook Page)
Andre Pshenichnikov 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Facebook Page)
Egyptian security officials decided to extend the detention of an Israeli citizen for an additional 15 days to investigate his illegal entry into the country, according to media reports on Tuesday.
The Israeli, Andre Pshenichnikov, is suspected of espionage, and his interrogation continued on Tuesday, according to a judicial source quoted by AFP. He has been held since last Friday and is currently jailed in Sharm e- Sheikh for allegedly trying to reach the Gaza Strip through Sinai, reports said.
The judicial source added that the suspect had “infiltrated Egypt through a mountainous area near Taba.”
The Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported that an Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo on Monday for three hours to discuss the matter.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP that “we have asked the Egyptians for information” and “are waiting to hear officially from the authorities what they suspect him of and what they intend to do. On that basis, we shall know what we can do.”
Officials in the Foreign Ministry said Monday that the ministry was in contact with the Egyptian authorities about the matter, but that no one from the embassy had visited Pshenichnikov yet.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem Post blogger Ahmed Meligy was reportedly arrested in Egypt on Monday.
An associate of Meligy, whose blog Egypt’s Missing Peace has been critical of the Egyptian government, informed the Post that he had been arrested in Alexandria.
An individual in Egypt who has had some communication with Meligy’s family contacted the Post following the arrest, writing that the family claimed that five men had taken him around 7 a.m. on Monday because of his blog.
Meligy had recently informed Post Blog Editor Lidar Grave that he would have to take a short hiatus from blogging because he was receiving threats.
In early November, Meligy opened a blog post critical of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi with the words, “I hope that I don’t get arrested for this one.” He went on to say that “the Muslim Brotherhood is creating a dictatorship that will set back my Egypt for years to come.”