Frontlist | Egypt frees Al Jazeera journalist after four years in detention
Egyptian authorities on Saturday released a journalist working for Qatar’s Al Jazeera television network who was held in pre-trial detention for more than four years, his brother and a lawyer told Reuters.
Mahmoud Hussein, an Egyptian detained in December 2016 after arriving in Cairo from Doha on vacation, was held on charges of spreading false news, joining a banned group and receiving foreign funds.
He was released after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt agreed in January to restore diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar, severed in 2017 over allegations that Qatar supported terrorism, a charge Doha denies.
A Cairo court ordered Hussein’s release with “precautionary measures”, pending investigations on Feb. 1, his brother, Nageh Hussein, and lawyer Taher Abou al-Nasr told Reuters.
Abou al-Nasr said prosecutors had not appealed against the decision, as they had against a similar decision in 2019.
It was not immediately clear what the release conditions were but Nageh Hussein said his brother may have to spend several hours a week in a police station.
Al Jazeera Media Network welcomed the news.
“No journalist should ever be subjected to what Mahmoud has suffered for the past four years for merely carrying out his profession,” the TV network said in a statement on its website.