New York, June 21, 2015–An Al-Jazeera journalist was detained on Saturday in Berlin while headed to Qatar, according to news reports. Ahmad Mansour, a British-Egyptian TV host for the Qatar-based broadcaster, was detained in connection with an Egyptian arrest warrant dating back to a 2014 conviction in Egypt on politically motivated charges, news reports said. Mansour, who was convicted in absentia, denied the allegations. Mansour’s arrest comes just months after the release of three Al-Jazeera journalists who were imprisoned in Egypt for more than a year.
“Egypt has launched a politically motivated campaign against Al-Jazeera and is now abusing the international system,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Egyptian authorities should stop pursuing Ahmed Mansour and his Al-Jazeera colleagues. Mansour should be released immediately.”
The threat of jail in Egypt is part of an atmosphere of censorship and self-censorship, according to CPJ research. On June 25, CPJ will release a census of journalists imprisoned in Egypt. The census is a snapshot of journalists in prison in Egypt on June 1, with a profile of each detainee’s case.