Egypt prosecution renews detention of Al-Jazeera producer over 'broadcasting false news' charges

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Jan 2017

Mahmoud Hussein
Al-Jazeera producer Mahmoud Hussein (Photo: Youtube)

Egypt's State Security Prosecution ordered a 15-day renewal of the detention of Al-Jazeera news network producer Mahmoud Hussein Gomaa pending investigations into charges of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos.”

Egypt's interior ministry said in December that it arrested Gomaa at a residence in Giza, where police confiscated thousands of video tapes and production equipment.

According to the ministry statement, Gomaa used several residences to “avoid security monitoring in light of Al-Jazeera's unauthorised work in the country and its failure to obtain the needed licences.”

Shortly after, Al-Jazeera announced in a statement the arrest of its journalist, who it said worked at the channel’s Egypt bureau office in 2013 before it was shut down by the state. 

The network said that it holds the Egyptian authorities responsible for Gomaa’s safety and called for his immediate release.

Egypt has long accused Al-Jazeera of carrying out a hostile media campaign against the country since relations between Cairo and Doha soured following the ousting in 2013 of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, an ally of the Gulf country.

In 2013, Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were arrested on similar charges, and were sentenced to prison two years later.

The two journalists were pardoned by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in September 2015.

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