Egyptian authorities must release Al-Jazeera news producer Mahmoud Hussein immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Officials initially questioned Hussein on December 20 when he arrived in Egypt on a family visit from Qatar, where he is based, according to reports. Hussein was arrested on December 23.
Al-Jazeera closed its Egypt offices in 2013 after they were raided and shut down by authorities, CPJ documented at the time. In the past two years, three Al-Jazeera Arabic journalists have been sentenced to death in absentia and three journalists from Al-Jazeera English were sentenced for up to 10 years in jail in Egypt for “aiding a terrorist organization,” spreading false news, and working without a license, according to news reports. They were later released.
Egypt has 25 journalists in jail in relation to their work, according to CPJ’s annual prison census.