On Friday Al-Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein completed 1,400 days in detention in Egypt without conviction. The Egyptian authorities arrested Hussein on December 23, 2016, while he was on holiday with his family, and they continue to detain him without trial arbitrarily.
For his part, the Acting Director-General of Al-Jazeera Network, Moustafa Souag, called for Hussein’s immediate release and said that his arrest represents a flagrant violation of all Egyptian and international laws and a regrettable and condemned act. “We call on the Egyptian authorities to release all detained journalists, and we also call on the international community to pressure Egypt and other countries that do not respect freedom of the press and opinion to release all those unjustly detained in their prisons.” He warned of the spread of coronavirus in Egyptian prisons, which are overcrowded and lack the most straightforward preventive requirements and necessary precautionary measures, which pose a danger to the lives of Hussein and other detainees. He continued, “Egypt is still at the forefront of countries with a poor record in the field of human rights and the protection of freedom of the press.” He added, “The Egyptian authorities have not yet abided by the stipulations of local law regarding the period of pretrial detention, which is supposed not to exceed two years, and circumvented the order to re-arrest Hussein pending another case.”
Al-Jazeera renewed its call for, “the free people of the world to unite their efforts to highlight the case of Hussein and the rest of the detained journalists, and to demand their immediate release.”