Mahmoud Hussein: Egypt rejects request to visit ailing father

Father of detained Al Jazeera journalist is in critical condition and is unable to speak or eat, family says.

    Hussein, an Egyptian national, has been kept in a prison in Egypt without any charges for more than 1,000 days. [Al Jazeera]
    Hussein, an Egyptian national, has been kept in a prison in Egypt without any charges for more than 1,000 days. [Al Jazeera]

    Egyptian authorities have turned down a request by the detained Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein to visit his ailing father.

    Hussein, an Egyptian national, has been kept in a prison in Egypt without any charge for more than 1,000 days. He was arrested shortly after his arrival in Egypt in December 2016 while on a personal visit.

    Egypt's state security prosecutor’s refusal came just days after his family failed to secure his temporary release, despite having submitted all the necessary medical reports proving Hussein Jumaa was critically ill.

    Jumaa has suffered five strokes since his eldest son Hussein was detained. His family said he was unable to walk, speak or ingest food.

    Hussein's lawyers said they had appealed the decision with the country's Supreme Prosecutor for State Security. 

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    His incarceration is already in breach of Egypt’s penal code, which sets a maximum pretrial detention period of 620 days for individuals being investigated for a felony.

    In May, an Egyptian court rejected an order by the state prosecutor to release him from prison. Authorities opened a new investigation against him with unspecified charges and returned him to prison.

    'Trumped-up charges' 

    Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) has consistently denied the charges levied against him and has called for his release.

    "Hussein has been held by the Egyptian authorities for 1,000 days, with baseless accusations and trumped-up charges," Mostefa Souag, the acting director general of AJMN, said earlier in September. 

    Since the 2013 overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, AJMN has been portrayed as Egypt's national enemy for its coverage of the group.

    That same year, Egypt arrested and later imprisoned Al Jazeera's Abdullah Elshamy, Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste on charges of spreading "false news" - cases that were widely condemned by international media outlets and many politicians. All have since been freed.

    A former editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera Arabic was sentenced to death in absentia for purportedly endangering national security. 

    Several other Al Jazeera journalists have also been charged in absentia for spreading lies and supporting "terrorists" - a reference to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

    Journalism is Not a Crime: The Story of Mahmoud Hussein

    Al Jazeera World

    Journalism is Not a Crime: The Story of Mahmoud Hussein

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News