Egypt renews detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein

Egypt renews detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein
2 min read
03 December, 2018
Egypt has added a further 45 days to the detention of journalist Mahmoud Hussein, who has already spent nearly two years in custody without charge.
Mahmoud Hussein was arrested in Egypt in December 2016 [Screenshot/al-Jazeera]
Egyptian authorities have renewed the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein for another 45 days, the detained reporter's lawyer said on Sunday.

The extension was made after Hussein's hearing on November 19, however his lawyer was only made aware of the renewal on 2 December. He will remain in detention for the extra 45 days in addition to 713 days spent in jail without charge.

Hussein was arrested on arrival in Cairo in December 2016 while travelling to visit his family. Egyptian authorities accused the Qatar-based journalist of producing false news and receiving foreign funds to defame state institutions.

Hussein and his employers have denied the allegations.

Having already detained Hussein for almost two years, Egyptian authorities have contravened the country's penal code which sets limits on the maximum period a suspected felon can be held without trial.

Hussein has been placed in solitary confinement and denied his legal rights, according to Al Jazeera.

Earlier this year, the United Nations slammed Hussein's jailing as "arbitrary detention" and called for his immediate release.

Al Jazeera, which is banned in Egypt, has in the past had several of its journalists imprisoned in the country, including Abdullah Elshamy, Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste. All four have since been released.

Egyptian authorities also sentenced former editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera Arabic, Ibrahim Helal, to death in absentia for allegedly endangering national security.

The government has blocked hundreds of websites, including those of several independent media outlets, as part of a sweeping crackdown on dissent.

All major media outlets still operating in Egypt support the government.

Human rights groups regularly criticise moves by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's government to curtail free speech.

Egypt is currently placed 161st out of 180 countries in the press freedom rankings of global media rights organisation Reporters Without Borders.

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