OSCE calls for immediate release of Al Jazeera journalist arrested in Germany

  22 June 2015    Read: 657
OSCE calls for immediate release of Al Jazeera journalist arrested in Germany
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today criticized the detention of an Al Jazeera reporter by the German authorities on the basis of an Egyptian arrest warrant, calling for his immediate release.

According to media reports, on 20 June Al-Jazeera reporter Ahmad Mansour was detained at Berlin’s Tegel Airport while boarding a flight bound for Qatar. Mansour, who has Egyptian and British citizenship, was convicted by a Cairo court in absentia in 2014 on charges of alleged involvement in the torture of a lawyer in the city’s Tahrir Square in 2011.

Mansour and Al Jazeera reject the allegations as politically motivated and deny that there is an Interpol warrant against him.

“With the full respect of the German authorities’ legal obligations, I warn that the detention of journalists is a powerful tool to silence media critical of any government,” Mijatović said. “With this in mind, I call on the German authorities to immediately release Mansour.”

Note that, Egypt’s Attorney General Hisham Barakat has demanded German and Interpol officials extradite Mansour to Egypt. Mansour was indicted for allegedly torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011 and was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison by an Egyptian court in 2014. Al Jazeera leadership said Ahmed Mansour is innocent and regards the Egyptian court’s judgment as an attempt to silence journalists.

Having phone conversation with his colleagues, the journalist said that German court will pass a judgment on his fate today.

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