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Al Jazeera renews call for release of journalist held by Egypt

May 4, 2018 at 11:07 am

Al Jazeera Media Network has renewed its call for the release of its journalist Mahmoud Hussein, who has been held in Egypt for 500 days with neither charge nor trial. Despite international calls by rights groups and international institutions for his release, including the United Nations, he remains in prison. His detention has been renewed continuously since his arrest in December 2016 when he arrived in Cairo on holiday.

The Doha-based network reiterated its demand for his immediate release in a press release coinciding with World Press Freedom Day. It called upon all international human rights groups and media freedom organisations to continue with their support for Hussein’s release.

Al Jazeera stresses that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental to democratic values and must be maintained globally,” the company said. “We call upon everyone concerned with media freedom to take an active part in denouncing Mahmoud Hussein’s continued detention and to put pressure on the Egyptian authorities to release him and end his arduous ordeal.”

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Ever since 2013, when Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to power in a military coup, Al Jazeera’s journalists and correspondents have been targeted by the Egyptian authorities. Many have been sentenced to imprisonment and the death penalty in absentia. Nevertheless, the network stressed its commitment and adherence to its mission and Code of Ethics to report developments in Egypt objectively and professionally. It also reaffirmed its continued support for all its journalists and employees.

On this year’s World Press Freedom Day, Al Jazeera pointed out that dozens of journalists are still being killed and wounded around the world simply for doing their job. It called for an international charter guaranteeing the protection, safety and security of journalists in wars and conflict zones, and condemned their intimidation and arrest.

Al Jazeera’s international campaign #DemandPressFreedom was recently presented with “Gold” at the 2018 New York International Television & Film Awards. The campaign has received wide attention and high social media engagement globally.

Freedom of press in Egypt - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Freedom of press in Egypt – Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]