CAIRO – Egyptian journalists Mahmud Hussein who has been under 4-year detention from Egyptian authorities over ‘false news’ and ‘incitement against state institution’ has finally been released by the authorities in the North African country.
Mahmud was arrested in 2016 and has been kept under bars without proper judicial process on charges of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos.” His release comes weeks after Egypt and four other Gulf states announced that there were normalizing ties with Qatar.
In May 2019, a court ordered his release under “precautionary measures”. However, he was sent back to jail the following day after the authorities launched new investigations against him.
Mahmud remained in custody since then and, in total, he has spent over 1500 days in prison without formal charges, a trial or conviction.
His arrest was widely condemned by international rights groups and media freedom organizations, including the International Federation of Journalists [IFJ] and the United Nations.
The International Federation of Journalists welcomed Mahmud’s release.
“We welcome Mahmoud’s release and his return to his home to be reunited with his family after such a long separation due to his arbitrary detention. Egypt’s record on attacks on journalists and press freedom is shameful and must be condemned by the whole international community without exception. Dozens of journalists are still in jail for simply doing their job and the IFJ will continue working for their immediate and unconditional release,” IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said.