The Higher National Security Prosecution ordered a 15-day detention renewal of a news producer for Qatari Al-Jazeera news channel on Monday, pending investigations.
Mahmoud Hussein, who was arrested in December, is facing charges of receiving financial support from Al-Jazeera network to fabricate Egyptian news and produce content that may damage the state’s image.
The Qatari network has denied all accusations against Hussein and demanded his immediate release. It stressed that Hussein was in Egypt for a vacation, not for work. Al-Jazeera further added that the arrest and accusations are a result of practices that violate international conventions, and according to human rights organisations, these violations prevail in Egypt.
Al-Jazeera called on human rights organisations to defend Hussein because “journalism is not a crime.” It also said that Hussein is currently working in Qatar’s capital of Doha after the Al-Jazeera office in Egypt closed in 2013.
In November, the Qatari media network released a documentary entitled “Conscripts”, in which it claimed that Egyptian conscripts are mistreated while serving their compulsory army service. The movie stirred controversy and was criticised by Egyptian media.
Al-Jazeera had to close its office in Egypt in 2013, following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, as it was accused of being biased to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Also in 2013, three journalists from Al-Jazeera were arrested in the case known as “Marriott cell”. They were released in 2015 following a presidential pardon.