Judicial sources said that Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution yesterday ordered the imprisonment of an Al-Jazeera journalist named Mahmoud Hussein for 15 days pending investigation on charges including preparing “fabricated” reports about the country to broadcast on the Qatari satellite channel. Al-Jazeera commented on the accusations made against Hussein by the Egyptian authorities and said that they were “fabricated”.
Hussein, an Egyptian, returned to Cairo from Doha, where the channel’s headquarters are located, last Tuesday. Security sources said that the Egyptian journalist was interrogated at the airport before he was allowed to enter the country, but that police raided his house on Friday and arrested him.
A source close to the public prosecutor’s office said that the charges made against Hussein include “spreading false news, disturbing the peace and public security and preparing fabricated reports”.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a statement that it posted on its official Facebook account yesterday evening that Al-Jazeera officials “had ordered some individuals collaborating with the channel inside the country to continue implementing its media plan of provoking sedition, incitement against the state, and spreading chaos through broadcasting false news”.
The statement continued by saying that Hussein is among “those who are in charge of these actions”, and that at the time of his arrest, he was found with thousands of videos and a large amount of photographic, lighting and editing equipment and external memory units which he was using to carry out his illegal activities.