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Monday, 22 June 2015

Germany Frees Al-Jazeera Reporter Ahmed Mansour.

German prosecutors have confirmed that a reporter from the al-Jazeera network detained after an extradition request from Egypt
has been freed.
Ahmed Mansour, who works for the network's Arabic-language service, was held on Saturday as he tried to board a flight from Berlin to Qatar.
A court in Egypt's capital Cairo sentenced him to 15 years in prison in absentia last year on torture charges.
Al-Jazeera says the accusations against Mr Mansour are absurd and false.
"This was an unfortunate incident in Germany, but we are pleased that the mistake has been rectified," said al-Jazeera's acting director general, Mostefa Souag.
"We hope that this will be a lesson to the Egyptian authorities that the rest of the world values freedom of the press," he added.
Patrick Teubner, a lawyer for Mr Mansour, told Associated Press that there were no further legal matters pending against his client in Germany.
Mr Mansour was released into a cheering crowd on Monday.
"Thanks to people around the world who supported me in the last days," he said, according to AFP.

 Earlier, the German government had said that it could veto an extradition decision from the court.
Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told a news conference that Germany has repeatedly questioned the rule of law in Egypt.
"Against this background, you will surely understand that there are doubts in the Mansour case," he said.
"I don't think one can say this loudly enough: Of course, nobody will be extradited from Germany who risks being sentenced to death abroad."

'Misunderstanding'

Mr Mansour, along with two Muslim Brotherhood members and an Islamic preacher, is accused of taking part in the torture of a lawyer in Cairo's Tahrir Square in 2011, during protests against then President Hosni Mubarak.
Video footage of the incident shows the lawyer being kicked but does not show Mr Mansour, according to AP. The journalist later interviewed the preacher about the incident, the news agency says.
A German interior ministry spokesman has said that there had been a request by the international police body Interpol for the arrest of Mr Mansour.

But, according to al-Jazeera, Interpol had previously rejected the Egyptian-issued arrest warrant because it did not meet its rules.
In a video recorded while detained, Mr Mansour described the incident as a "misunderstanding".
The detention of Mr Mansour is the latest in a series of legal disputes between Egypt and al-Jazeera.
Three of its journalists - Australian Peter Greste, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed - were arrested in Egypt in 2013 and convicted of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in a case which caused international outrage.
They are being retried after their convictions were overturned in January. Mr Greste was deported to Australia in February and is being retried in absentia.
Source:BBC

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