Egypt Frees Al Jazeera Journalist Hisham Abdel Aziz After Four Years

A journalist from the Al Jazeera network has been freed in Egypt, four years after he was arrested, the Qatari media organisation says.

Hisham Abdel Aziz was detained in 2019, reportedly on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist group. He was subsequently freed then rearrested.

The broadcaster quoted Mr Aziz’s family as saying he was back at home in Cairo.

He is one of several Al Jazeera staff arrested in Egypt since the current leadership came to power in 2013.

In July of that year, the then-Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, was overthrown by the military following mass protests.

Rights groups say that since then tens of thousands of people have been arrested in a crackdown on dissent. Many have been accused of links to the banned Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement, which Egypt has accused Al Jazeera of supporting.

According to Al Jazeera, Mr Abdel Aziz was arrested at Cairo airport on his arrival from Qatar, where he was based. He was on his way to see his family, it said.

A relative told the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that Mr Abdel Aziz had been charged with membership of a terrorist group.

Al Jazeera said his detention had been repeatedly extended on “baseless allegations” and that his health had suffered.

It said two more of its journalists, Bahaa Eldin Ibrahim and Rabie el-Sheikh, arrested in 2020 and 2021 respectively, are still being held in Egypt.

Source : BBC

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