Father of detained Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein dies

Hussein's family calls on Egypt to allow him to attend funeral after requests to visit his ailing father were denied.

    In September, Egyptian authorities turned down a request by detained Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein to visit his ailing father [Al Jazeera]
    In September, Egyptian authorities turned down a request by detained Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein to visit his ailing father [Al Jazeera]

    The father of detained Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein passed away on Tuesday, while his family called on the Egyptian authorities to allow Hussein to attend his father's funeral.

    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.

    In September, Egyptian authorities turned down a request by Hussein to visit his ailing father. 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, 74, was critically ill.

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    "No one responded to our calls for two months when we requested that my dad be allowed to see his ailing father for just an hour," Hussein's daughter Zahraa wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

    "All we want today if for [our father] to be allowed to say goodbye to his dad and bury him," she added.

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

    "My grandfather didn't get to see his son for two years. He got a stroke because of the detention of his eldest son," Zahraa said in her post.

    Hussein's lawyers said at the time of the family's attempts to allow him to visit his father that they had appealed the decision with the country's Supreme Prosecutor for State Security. 

    Hussein's 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.

    The 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 in September. 

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

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News