In December 2016, Egyptian security forces arrested Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein while on holiday in Cairo.
There have been no formal charges against Hussein, an Egyptian national based in Doha, Qatar. He’s accused of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos”.
However, article 71 of the Egyptian constitution says that: “no custodial sanction shall be imposed for crimes committed by way of publication or the public nature thereof”.
Al Jazeera has rejected the allegations against Hussein and has called on Egypt to unconditionally release him.
His detention is the latest in a series of arrests by Egyptian authorities of the network’s staff there.
In May 2016, Ibrahim Helal, former editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera Arabic, was sentenced to death in absentia for purportedly endangering national security. Several other colleagues have also been charged in absentia, such as journalists Sue Turton and Dominic Kane.
Egypt also imprisoned Al Jazeera’s Abdullah Elshamy, Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste on charges of spreading “false news”, in a case that was widely condemned by international media outlets and many politicians. All have since been released.