CAIRO, Jan 22 (Aswat Masriya) – The Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) has urged Egyptian authorities to release detained Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein, in a statement on Saturday.
Hussein, a news producer at the Qatar-based TV channel, was arrested and detained on Dec.20 on charges of disturbing public security and spreading false news.
The Egyptian national was accused of fabricating media reports about Egypt to "incite people against the state institutions and spread chaos".
The FAJ demanded the prompt release of Hussein “for the sake of a free press and free expression.” It added that it was "concerned" by Hussein’s detention and called for "all parties to act responsibly and within the framework of international laws that deal with human rights and civil liberties".
Egyptian authorities had extended Hussein’s detention for 15 days pending investigations, for the second time, last week.
The Qatari channel had denied in December all charges brought against their producer and called for his immediate release.
"Al Jazeera deems all accusations against Hussein, including those which might be added later to the current allegations, to be a result of practices which violate international norms and conventions, and which, unfortunately prevail in Egypt as exposed by human rights organisations," the network said in a statement.
The Qatari channel, which adopts the slogan of providing “the opinion and the other opinion,” has long been accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, Egypt has launched a severe crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood figures and their supporters. The group was designated "a terrorist organisation" in Dec. 2013.
The broadcast of the Egypt-focused television channel Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, an affiliate of Al Jazeera, was suspended in September 2014.