Pakistani journalist’s community demands the immediate release of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein, Egypt renews Mahmoud Hussein’s detention.

Pakistani journalist’s community demands the immediate release of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein, Egypt renews Mahmoud Hussein’s detention.
ISLAMABAD: (ASGHAR ALI MUBARAK) The leaders of Pakistani journalist’s community included the president Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist Muhammad Afzal butt, President RIUJ Rawalpindi Islamabad union of journalist Mubarak Zeb, president national press club Islamabad Tariq Choudhray, founder President Diplomatic Correspondents Forum of Pakistan Asghar Ali Mubarak, Al Jazeera Media network Bureau Chief Ahmad Khalaf Barakat has condemned the repeated renewals of his detention, denies all the allegations against him and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.09 PM (1) WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.09 PM Pakistani journalist’s community demands the immediate release of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein, Egypt renews Mahmoud Hussein's detention. WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.11 PM (1) WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.11 PM WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.12 PM WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.13 PM (1) WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.13 PM WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.14 PM WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.15 PM WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.16 PM WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.17 PM (1) WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.17 PM WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.18 PM WhatsApp Image 2018-02-10 at 5.15.19 PM
The founder President Diplomatic Correspondents Forum of Pakistan Asghar Ali Mubarak demands the immediate release of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein, who is old an Egyptian national and was arrested upon arrival at Cairo’s airport on December 2016 without charge.Five days later, Egypt’s interior ministry accused Hussein of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos”. Egypt has extended the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein for an 11th time, 409 days after he was first arrested on bogus charges.
Hussein, an Egyptian national based in Qatar, was stopped, questioned and arrested by authorities on December 20, 2016, after travelling to Cairo for a holiday.
Five days after his initial arrest, Egypt’s interior ministry accused him of “disseminating false news and receiving monetary funds from foreign authorities in order to defame the state’s reputation”.
Since then, he has been held for a total of 403 days, enduring months in solitary confinement, being denied his legal rights, all the while yet to be formally charged. On Saturday, Egyptian authorities decided to extend his detention for a period of 45 days. Over the past few years, Egyptian authorities have arrested several Al Jazeera employees, raising grave concerns over media freedoms in the country.
In May 2016, a Cairo court sentenced a former editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera Arabic, Ibrahim Helal, to death, charging him in absentia with endangering national security.
Al Jazeera’s Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste – along with seven colleagues outside the country – were accused of spreading “false news” during their coverage in the aftermath of the military overthrow of then-president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the year they were taken into custody.
Mohamed and Fahmy spent 437 days in jail before being released, while Greste spent more than a year in prison.
The judge who sentenced the journalists said they were brought together “by the devil” to destabilise the country.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Egypt ranks third worldwide among nations jailing media workers – having locked up 20 in 2017.Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein rejected the charges and says he was in Egypt on holiday and not for work. He visits his family several times a year.
At the time of his arrest, Sherif Mansour of CPJ said: “Egyptian authorities are waging a systematic campaign against Al Jazeera, consisting of arbitrary arrest, censorship, and systematic harassment.”
Al Jazeera Media Network has said it “rejects all the baseless allegations against Hussein, and condemns the unfair detention, in addition to obtaining false confessions by force.
Furthermore, the network holds the Egyptian authorities responsible for Hussein’s safety and well-being”.
Hussein is the oldest of nine siblings and hails from a village within the Giza governorate.
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During his years in radio, he also worked for several research centres in Egypt.
He joined the state-run Nile TV in 1997 as a political affairs correspondent, before later being promoted as the channel’s head of correspondents.

He spent years in Palestine where he interviewed Yasser Arafat, former chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), and covered major events such as Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2006.
He then worked with several Arabic news channels, eventually becoming Sudan TV’s Cairo bureau chief. During those years, Hussein also taught at the Radio and Television Institute in Cairo, giving courses on news production and editing.
In 2010, Hussein joined Al Jazeera’s Cairo bureau as a correspondent, after freelancing for the network. He covered Egypt’s 2011 revolution which toppled former President Hosni Mubarak and the events that followed, up until the closing of Al Jazeera’s Cairo bureau in 2013.
He then moved to Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, where he worked as a news producer.
Hussein is someone “who knows how news is made”, says Majed Khedr, his manager in Doha.
Sitting in Al Jazeera Arabic’s bustling newsroom, Khedr remembers Hussein’s ability to lighten the mood in a stressful work environment.
“What is unique about Mahmoud is his fun spirit. He has a good sense of humour,” Khedr says.
“He always brought food, and it was usually Egyptian food …This was Mahmoud’s spirit, God bless him.
“His name is still in our daily work schedule because we are still convinced he is with us.”
Anas Zaki, a news editor at Al Jazeera Arabic, described Hussein as someone who “was always there for his friends”.
The pair studied at university together and has been friends for more than 30 years.
If someone called Hussein in distress late at night, he would rush to their house and “never make him feel like he sacrificed his sleep or comfort”, Zaki says

Egypt has extended Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein’s imprisonment, who is in poor health, nears one year of incarceration on dubious charges.
Hussein was taken by Egyptian security officers last year and accused of reporting “false news with the aim of creating chaos”.
An Egyptian national, Hussein had returned to visit his family on holiday from Qatar – where he is based – when he was arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned.
Al Jazeera Media Network denies all allegations against Hussein and has demanded his immediate and unconditional release.
Human rights and press freedom organizations have condemned Hussein’s detention.
He is reportedly in ill health after breaking an arm months ago while in prison.
His family says he has not received proper medical attention.
Hussein is not the first Al Jazeera journalist to be targeted and imprisoned for lengthy periods by Egyptian authorities on spurious charges.
Egypt also imprisoned Al Jazeera English’s Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy, and Peter Greste for allegedly spreading “false news” in 2013.
Mohamed and Fahmy spent 437 days in jail before being released. Greste spent more than a year in prison.
Al Jazeera Arabic reporter Abdullah Elshamy was imprisoned for 307 days after being arrested on August 14, 2013.
He was covering the deadly crackdown by security forces on the Rabaa al-Adawiya square protest in Cairo against the coup that overthrew the democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
Ibrahim Helal, former editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera Arabic, was among six journalists sentenced to death in absentia in May 2016 by an Egyptian court for purportedly “endangering national security”.
The New York-based the Committee to Protect Journalists released a report showing that Egypt ranks third worldwide among nations jailing media workers – having locked up 20 in 2017.
In January 2016, Al Jazeera Media Network lodged a claim for damages against the Egyptian government, accusing it of harassing its journalists and damaging its office and equipment during repeated police raids.
Egypt is accused by Al Jazeera of systematically and deliberately targeting the network in the aftermath of the January 25, 2011, uprising that brought down the presidency of Hosni Mubarak.When his daughter Hagar graduated from high school, Mahmoud Hussein clipped articles from newspapers about universities from the confines of his prison cell.
He wanted to be there for Hagar as she was about to embark on a new journey – higher education, and inform her of the best choices.
“When I visited, I found that he’d made a list of universities that are suitable for her,” says Zahra Hussein, Hagar’s sister.
At 23 years old, Zahra is the second oldest of Hussein’s nine children.

A UN body has ruled the detention of an Al Jazeera journalist held by Egyptian authorities for more than one year as “arbitrary”.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also demanded the immediate release of Mahmoud Hussein, an Egyptian native who worked for Al Jazeera Arabic.
The 55-year old was arrested in December 2016 after travelling from Doha, where he was based, to Cairo to visit his family.
OHCHR issued its report based on a petition submitted by the Washington, DC-based Robert F Kennedy Human Rights.
“Hussein’s arbitrary detention is far from an isolated case; the Egyptian authorities’ tactic of using indefinite pre-trial detention to restrain those who dare to act independently is a cornerstone of its repression of the press, civil society, and protesters,” said the rights group, in a statement posted to its website.
“The [OHCHR] Working Group’s decision in Hussein’s case is an important step in holding the Egyptian government accountable for these widespread human rights violations.”

Hussein was accused of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos”, allegations he, his lawyers and Al Jazeera strongly deny.
Hussein, who has been held in the notorious Tora maximum-security prison and suffers from physical and severe psychological duress, has not been officially charged.
The OHCHR report said that there is “no legal basis in Egyptian law” for Hussein’s continued pre-trial detention.
Furthermore, authorities have “failed to produce a single piece of evidence that could justify any of the charges informally brought against him.”
Elizabeth Witchel from the Committee to Protect Journalists, told Al Jazeera that while the UN process is good, “constant pressure” must be kept up.
“We need bilateral pressure,” she said. “We need pressure from intergovernmental institutions and what we’re seeing around the world is the use of anti-state laws that are vaguely worded and used against journalists and critics.”
Witchel went on to say that the year 2017 was a “historical high” in terms of the imprisonments of journalists that CPJ has documented around the world.
“In that sense we’re seeing that it is an extremely precarious time to be a journalist, particularly if you are a local one,” she added.
OHCHR has asked the Egyptian government to “take the steps necessary to remedy the situation of Mr Hussein without delay and bring it into conformity with the standards and principles set forth in the international norms on detention, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
OHCHR’s Working Group said that the “appropriate remedy” would be the immediate release of Hussein and provide him and his family compensation and other reparations.
The UN body has given the Egyptian government six months starting from the publication date of its report – January 15, 2018 – to provide information regarding a number of issues, including compensation and an investigation into the violation of Hussein’s rights.
The Egyptian authorities responded to the OHCHR’s first request back in August 2017 to provide details regarding Hussein’s situation at the time by saying that all detainees enjoyed rights and safeguards.
The authorities also said that it respects all the ratified international treaties, and ensured that the national legal framework was in accordance with those conventions and its provisions, specifically articles 6 and 9 of the Covenant.
OHCHR expressed its concern about the “pattern of arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearance” carried out by the Ministry of Interior Homeland Security Agency.
It also noted that Egypt ranks third in the world in terms of journalists arrested, with 24 journalists held in detention. Since 2011, 10 journalists have been killed, without proper investigations being conducted.
In 2013, Al Jazeera has been accused by Egypt of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned by the government from operating in the country and branded as a “terrorist” organisation.
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“We’re all unable to adjust,” says Zahra. “The house is dead. Dad is under arrest, so there is no happiness coming in.”
An Egyptian national who was based in Qatar, Hussein was stopped and questioned for 15 hours by authorities, after travelling to Cairo on holiday last December 20.
He was accused of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos”, allegations he, his lawyers and Al Jazeera strongly deny.
He is in poor physical and mental condition and is being denied adequate medical treatment.
After he fractured his arm last summer, officials refused to let Hussein undergo surgery or have his cast changed.
Human rights groups say there are currently around 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt, many of whom have disappeared.
There are at least 20 journalists currently languishing in Egyptian prisons, according to a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“I go through many phases of depression, and then I feel that I can’t continue,” says Zahra, who has adopted the role of family caretaker since her father’s arrest.
As Hussein was being branded a “terrorist who works for Al Jazeera” by Egypt’s media, her bosses sacked her, saying they could not risk keeping her employed. She now works from home as a freelance translator.
“I never wanted to be placed in this terrifying situation. I’ve always had this comforting idea that dad’s here. If any problem arises, dad will solve it.”
As part of his imprisonment, Hussein spent around three months in solitary confinement before being moved to a cell with other prisoners.
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According to Zahra Hussein, her father has expressed fears about his parents dying while he’s in prison. His mother suffers from heart complications.
Weekly visits are restricted to three people. With a large number of siblings and children, this means some relatives must wait months to see Hussein.
“Despite all my attempts, I feel like I can’t do anything for dad,” says Zahra.
“I feel like if he was outside and I was inside [prison], he would have easily solved it.
“I put my faith in God, but I mostly feel desperate.” A UN body has ruled the detention of an Al Jazeera journalist held by Egyptian authorities for more than one year as “arbitrary”.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also demanded the immediate release of Mahmoud Hussein, an Egyptian native who worked for Al Jazeera Arabic.
The 55-year old was arrested in December 2016 after travelling from Doha, where he was based, to Cairo to visit his family.
OHCHR issued its report based on a petition submitted by the Washington, DC-based Robert F Kennedy Human Rights.
“Hussein’s arbitrary detention is far from an isolated case; the Egyptian authorities’ tactic of using indefinite pre-trial detention to restrain those who dare to act independently is a cornerstone of its repression of the press, civil society, and protesters,” said the rights group, in a statement posted to its website.
“The [OHCHR] Working Group’s decision in Hussein’s case is an important step in holding the Egyptian government accountable for these widespread human rights violations.”
Hussein was accused of “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos”, allegations he, his lawyers and Al Jazeera strongly deny.
Hussein, who has been held in the notorious Tora maximum-security prison and suffers from physical and severe psychological duress, has not been officially charged.
The OHCHR report said that there is “no legal basis in Egyptian law” for Hussein’s continued pre-trial detention.
Furthermore, authorities have “failed to produce a single piece of evidence that could justify any of the charges informally brought against him.”
Elizabeth Witchel from the Committee to Protect Journalists, told Al Jazeera that while the UN process is good, “constant pressure” must be kept up.
“We need bilateral pressure,” she said. “We need pressure from intergovernmental institutions and what we’re seeing around the world is the use of anti-state laws that are vaguely worded and used against journalists and critics.”
Witchel went on to say that the year 2017 was a “historical high” in terms of the imprisonments of journalists that CPJ has documented around the world.
“In that sense we’re seeing that it is an extremely precarious time to be a journalist, particularly if you are a local one,” she added.
OHCHR has asked the Egyptian government to “take the steps necessary to remedy the situation of Mr Hussein without delay and bring it into conformity with the standards and principles set forth in the international norms on detention, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
OHCHR’s Working Group said that the “appropriate remedy” would be the immediate release of Hussein and provide him and his family compensation and other reparations.
The UN body has given the Egyptian government six months starting from the publication date of its report – January 15, 2018 – to provide information regarding a number of issues, including compensation and an investigation into the violation of Hussein’s rights.
The Egyptian authorities responded to the OHCHR’s first request back in August 2017 to provide details regarding Hussein’s situation at the time by saying that all detainees enjoyed rights and safeguards.
The authorities also said that it respects all the ratified international treaties, and ensured that the national legal framework was in accordance with those conventions and its provisions, specifically articles 6 and 9 of the Covenant.
OHCHR expressed its concern about the “pattern of arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearance” carried out by the Ministry of Interior Homeland Security Agency.
It also noted that Egypt ranks third in the world in terms of journalists arrested, with 24 journalists held in detention. Since 2011, 10 journalists have been killed, without proper investigations being conducted.
In 2013, Al Jazeera has been accused by Egypt of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned by the government from operating in the country and branded as a “terrorist” organisation.

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