Al Jazeera Media Network strongly deplores the Egyptian authorities’ decision to return Mahmoud Hussein to Tora prison despite the court ruling he be released. Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein has been detained in Egypt for over 880 days without formal charges.
On 23 May 2019, a court in Egypt rejected the appeal by the prosecutor and ordered the release of Mahmoud Hussein from prison. However, the authorities have opened a new investigation against him with unspecified charges and returned him to prison.
“Al Jazeera is holding the Egyptian government responsible for false imprisonment of its journalist Mahmoud Hussein. It is a sad day for all journalists, his colleagues and family. It is deplorable that Mahmoud has once again been sent back to one of the notoriously deplorable prisons in Egypt.” Commented Dr. Mostefa Souag, Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network.
He further stated, “We should never allow such impunity by regimes to punish journalists for merely carrying out their profession. Mahmoud is being held for over 880 days. The length of his detention is a further testimony that Egypt has turned into a lawless country with no respect for journalists, media freedom, human rights or even for its own constitution.”
Al Jazeera is calling for an end to the arbitrary detention of Mahmoud Hussein and his immediate release. The Network condemns, in the strongest terms, the Egyptian authorities’ deliberate attempts to falsely accuse him of trumped up charges and retributive measures to further incarcerate him.
In addition, Al Jazeera calls on human rights organizations and international institutions to demand the immediate release of Mahmoud Hussein without any further delay.
Mahmoud Hussein was arrested on December 20, 2016, by the Egyptian authorities upon his arrival in Cairo to visit his family and not on an official visit. His pretrial detention has been renewed many times and has exceeded the two-year limit set by Egyptian law as a maximum for pretrial detention.