Egypt releases Al-Jazeera journalist for father's funeral

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 Nov 2019

Egypt released on Wednesday a journalist with Al-Jazeera television network held in pre-trial detention for almost three years to attend his father's funeral service, the interior ministry said.

Mahmoud Hussein has been detained pending trial since December 2016 on charges of spreading false news, joining a banned group and receiving foreign funds. The Qatar-based broadcaster has denied the accusations leveled against him.

The ministry said the temporary release is part of the country's "commitment to the principles of human rights for all prisoners regardless of their political affiliation or background. It added that the measure is in line with its commitment to implementing modern penal policy controls."

The move followed calls by Hussein's family for authorities to release him to attend the funeral of his father, who died on Tuesday.

Hussein was ordered to be released by an Egyptian court in May, but remained in detention over similar charges in another case.

Egypt accused Al-Jazeera and Qatar of supporting the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group. Qatar hosts a number of fugitive Brotherhood figures but denies it backs militant Islamists.

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