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South Africa & World

Egypt Releases Journalist After Four Years In Detention


By Staff Reporter

An Al-Jazeera journalist was on Saturday freed after more than four years in detention, his family lawyer said.

Mahmoud Hussein walked free from a police station Saturday afternoon, a few days after a court ordered his conditional release pending investigations into charges of publishing false information and belonging to a banned group, lawyer Gamal Eid said.

The lawyer said Hussein will have to report to a nearby police station twice a week.

Hussein, an Egyptian working for the Qatar-based satellite network, was detained at the Cairo airport in December 2016, when he arrived on a family vacation from Doha, the network said.

Since the 2013 ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian authorities and pro-government media have portrayed the Al-Jazeera network as Egypt’s national enemy for its sympathy toward Islamists, especially the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

According to Al-jazeera, the network, especially its Arabic service, and its staff have been embroiled in the wider political rift between Cairo and Doha. Egyptian authorities have blocked Al-Jazeera’s news website since 2017, along with dozens of other news sites deemed too critical of the government.

Robert Tapfumaneyi