Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Hussein launched from jail in Egypt | Freedom of the Press Information

Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Hussein launched from jail in Egypt | Freedom of the Press Information

Egypt has launched Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein after greater than 4 years in detention with out formal prices or trial.

Hussein, an Egyptian nationwide held underneath preventive detention since December 2016, was launched from jail on Saturday.

In a press release, Mostefa Souag, performing director common of the community, mentioned the discharge of Hussein was “a second of fact and an inspiring milestone in direction of press freedom”.

“Al Jazeera Media Community welcomes the information of Mahmoud’s freedom and believes that no journalist ought to ever be subjected to what Mahmoud has suffered for the previous 4 years for merely finishing up his career.

Mahmoud Hussein was greeted by his household upon his launch in Cairo [Credit: Hussein family]

“At this time, we’re happy he’s lastly reunited along with his household, after being robbed 4 years from his life and disadvantaged of his basic rights. We want Mahmoud a speedy restoration and hope he’ll be capable of overcome this previous ordeal and begin a brand new chapter in his distinguished profession.”

Earlier on Saturday, Hussein’s daughter Az-Zahraa posted a message on Fb saying, “Thank God the choice to launch Baba has been carried out.

“… At this time, Baba is in his home. Fortunately.”

Prolonged pre-trial detention

A father of 9, Hussein has many years of expertise in reporting for Arabic-language information channels. After years of freelance work with Al Jazeera Arabic, Hussein joined the community full-time in 2010, first in Cairo, later in Doha.

The 54-year-old was arrested in Cairo on December 23, 2016, whereas visiting his household for a vacation. He was interrogated for greater than 15 hours with out a lawyer current, earlier than being launched after which arrested once more days later.

Egypt’s Ministry of Inside publicly accused him of “disseminating false information and receiving financial funds from overseas authorities as a way to defame the state’s fame”, however no prices had been ever formally introduced in opposition to him. Hussein and Al Jazeera constantly denied the allegations.

Shortly after his arrest, Al Jazeera launched a worldwide media marketing campaign calling for Hussein’s launch.

Egyptian authorities, nonetheless, prolonged Hussein’s detention greater than a dozen instances, far surpassing the nation’s most interval for pre-trial detention in violation of each Egyptian and worldwide legislation.

Throughout his time in jail, Hussein suffered bodily and psychologically. He was held for lengthy intervals in solitary confinement and denied correct medical remedy when he broke his arm in 2017.

In January 2018, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that the circumstances of Hussein’s imprisonment amounted to “merciless, inhuman and degrading remedy”.

Al Jazeera launched a global marketing campaign for the discharge of Mahmoud Hussein [Al Jazeera]

In Could 2019, Hussein was transferred from Cairo’s Tora jail to a holding cell in Giza, in preparation for his launch underneath “precautionary measures”. Underneath these measures, he was alleged to be free of jail with solely restricted restrictions on his motion.

Whereas ready for ultimate clearance, Hussein was all of a sudden transferred to a prosecutor’s workplace after which despatched again to jail. His household waited in useless outdoors to greet him.

With no purpose given, authorities overturned the choice to launch him on the final minute after which introduced {that a} new investigation had been opened in opposition to Hussein.

‘Image of press freedom’

There was no official remark by the Egyptian authorities on Hussein’s launch on Saturday, which got here a month after Egypt and Qatar restored ties following a Gulf summit held in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia.

In June 2017, Egypt joined Qatar’s Gulf neighbours – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – in snapping ties with Doha and launching a blockade in opposition to it, alleging it backed terrorism and was too near regional rival Iran. Qatar denied the claims.

“Whereas he was incarcerated, Mahmoud had change into a logo of press freedom throughout the globe,” Souag mentioned in his assertion.

“On the day of his launch, Al Jazeera requires the liberty for all journalists who’re unjustly imprisoned all world wide.

“We commend all worldwide human rights organisations, media establishments, journalists for his or her steady help and condemnation in opposition to the arbitrary detention of Mahmoud Hussein.

“On today, Al Jazeera Media Community extends its gratitude in direction of these organisations, and all of the voices of fact which have known as for Mahmoud’s freedom and for the liberty of the press.

“Journalism shouldn’t be a criminal offense,” Souag concluded.

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