Germany will not extradite anyone facing the death penalty: Spokesman

Reuters and Ahram Online , Monday 22 Jun 2015

Ahmed Mansour in a still image taken from an al-Jazeera broadcast. Photograph: al-Jazeera (Photo: AP)

Germany will not extradite anybody facing the death penalty abroad, a foreign ministry official has said.

Martin Schaefer made the comments when asked whether Germany would extradite Egyptian Al Jazeera TV anchor Ahmed Mansour, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood who has been detained in Berlin for two days.

"I don't think one can say this loudly enough: Of course, nobody will be extradited from Germany if he risks being sentenced to death abroad," Schaefer, whose country abolished capital punishment decades ago, told a news conference on Monday.

Egypt's accusations against Al Jazeera journalist Mansour are taken seriously in Germany, the official added. 

In October 2014, a Cairo criminal court sentenced Mansour, who has dual Egyptian and British citizenship, to 15 years in prison in absentia on the charge of torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square during the 25 January revolution. 

Mansour was arrested by German police at Berlin's Tegel Airport on Saturday while on his way to board a plane to Qatar. 

It remains unclear why the German police arrested Mansour.

The 52-year-old TV anchor is currently detained at Moabit prison in Berlin awaiting for a judge to rule whether he could be extradited to Cairo or not.

Mansour is not facing the death penalty in this case or any other case in Egypt. 

German courts typically assess extradition cases by examining the political situation in the country concerned. 

Judges often consult with the foreign ministry, the justice ministry and the chancellory before issuing their rulings.

On Sunday, a court found that the authorities' decision to apprehend Mansour fell within the boundaries of German law. 

Mass death sentences recently issued by Egyptian courts against supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, as well as Morsi himself, have drawn widespread criticism in Germany and the western world. 

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