Al Jazeera demands release of news producer arrested in Egypt

Monday 26-12-2016 10:19 AM

Al Jazeera news producer Mahmoud Hussein (Al Jazeera)

CAIRO, Dec 26 (Aswat Masriya) - Al Jazeera urged Egypt to immediately release Mahmoud Hussein, a news producer at the Qatar-based TV channel, denying "fabricated charges" brought against him.

Egyptian prosecutors ordered on Sunday the detention of Hussein, who was arrested on Friday, for 15 days pending investigations on charges of disturbing public security and spreading false news.

Hussein was accused of fabricating media reports about Egypt to "incite people against the state institutions and spread chaos".

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera denied all charges brought against their producer, and expressed concerns over Hussein's safety.

A statement by the channel said that the ministry of interior's official statement contained "an alarming number of false facts and allegations". It added that Hussein would not have travelled through Egypt's airport if he was undertaking any illegal activities.

"Al Jazeera deems all accusations against Hussein, including those which might be added later to the current allegations, to be a result of practices which violate international norms and conventions, and which, unfortunately prevail in Egypt as exposed by human rights organisations," the network said in a statement.

"Al Jazeera also warns the Egyptian authorities against subjecting Hussein to torture or extracting any information from him by force," the statement added.

Although the ministry of interior's statement claimed that Hussein was in Egypt to prepare media reports containing fabricated information about the country, Al Jazeera said that Hussein was in Egypt on holiday and not for work.

The Qatari channel, which adopts the slogan of providing “the opinion and the other opinion,” has long been accused of supporting Egypt’s Islamist political factions, especially the Muslim Brotherhood.

Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, Egypt has launched a severe crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood figures and their supporters. The group was designated "a terrorist organisation" in Dec. 2013.

The broadcast of the Egypt-focused television channel Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, an affiliate of Al Jazeera, was suspended in September 2014.

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