A Qatar-based journalist and an Egyptian national, Mahmoud Hussein was initially arrested on 23rd December 2016, while on vacation with his family. Since then he has been detained facing accusations of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos”. Yet he never faced formal charges or a trial.
Following a court decision to release him under “precautionary measures”, Mahmoud Hussein was transferred from his prison to a holding cell on 25th May, allegedly as part of the release formalities. However, he was returned to jail the next day, without any explanation. According to his family, the authorities have launched a new investigation against him.
Reports say at least 23 journalists are currently in jail in Egypt.
The IFJ President Philippe Leruth said: “Egyptian authorities’ behaviour towards Mahmoud Hussein is shameful. It is a clear violation of the journalists’ human rights, as he has been detained for nearly 900 days without any charge and is being kept in custody in spite of the court’s decision. We call for his unconditional and immediate release.”