Despite a court ordering his release on 21st May, Al-Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein is still being held in Egypt after the authorities launched a new investigation against him. He has already spent nearly 900 days in custody without any charge. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemns the decision as an outrageous violation of press freedom and fundamental human rights.A Qatar-based journalist and an Egyptian national, Mahmoud Hussein was initially arrested on 23rd December 2016, while on vacation with his family. Since then he has been detained facing accusations of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos”. Yet he never faced formal charges or a trial.
Following a court decision to release him under “precautionary measures”, Mahmoud Hussein was transferred from his prison to a holding cell on 25th May, allegedly as part of the release formalities. However, he was returned to jail the next day, without any explanation. According to his family, the authorities have launched a new investigation against him.
Reports say at least 23 journalists are currently in jail in Egypt.