Al Jazeera slams Egypt’s treatment of Mahmoud Hussein

Qatar-based network demands private hospital treatment for imprisoned producer Mahmoud Hussein for a broken arm.

Al Jazeera has condemned Egypt’s treatment of its journalist Mahmoud Hussein who was arrested 247 days ago, saying he has been refused medical attention for a broken arm.

Speaking to Al Jazeera by telephone on Thursday, Hussein’s daughter Zahra said her father was suffering from depression because of his continued imprisonment and lack of medical care.

She said authorities were preventing him from receiving X-rays and scans on a broken arm. It was unclear how Hussein suffered the injury. 

“Hussein has had a broken arm while in prison, and the prison’s warden has refused to send him to an outside hospital to receive medical treatment, using unconvincing security excuses,” Al Jazeera Media Network said in a statement.

“Al Jazeera is ready to take full responsibility for all expenses related to any medical treatment Hussein should receive in a private hospital.”

READ MORE: Mahmoud Hussein: Freedom of expression is valuable 

Hussein, an Egyptian national who lives in Qatar, was detained and questioned by Egyptian authorities on December 20 after travelling to Cairo for a holiday.

He’s been charged with “disseminating false news and receiving monetary funds from foreign authorities in order to defame the state’s reputation”.

Al Jazeera, human rights groups, and media organisations have rejected the allegations against him, denouncing his detention and calling for his unconditional release.

Egypt, let our journalist go

Zahra said her family has repeatedly appealed to Egyptian authorities to have him released on bail considering he has nine children to care for – the youngest being three years old.

“We were hoping that my father would be released to come home to us last Eid holiday, but when he did not we cried and were very upset,” she said.

“It looks like they will not release him this coming Eid holiday as well.”

The United States on Tuesday informed Egypt it would withhold $290m in official assistance because of Cairo’s failure to make progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms.

OPINION: Zahra Mahmoud Hussein: 100 Days without my father 

Hussein has repeatedly complained of suffering mistreatment during his incarceration, being denied legal rights, and not receiving sufficient food and clothing.

Over the past few years, Egyptian authorities have arrested several Al Jazeera employees, raising concerns over media freedom in the country.

In May 2016, a Cairo court sentenced Ibrahim Helal to death, charging the former editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera Arabic 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 of the aftermath of the military overthrow of then-president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Mohamed and Fahmy spent 437 days in jail. Greste spent more than a year in prison before being released. 

The judge who sentenced the journalists said they were brought together “by the devil” to destabilise the country.

Follow Ali Younes on Twitter: @ali_reports

Are governments finding new ways to suppress the media? – Inside Story

Source: Al Jazeera