Al Jazeera journalist imprisoned in Germany after Egypt arrest request

An Al Jazeera journalist has been arrested and detained at Berlin, apparently at the request of the Egyptian government.

Al Jazeera reports that Ahmed Mansour, a foreign correspondent with the news agency, was arrested and detained at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on Saturday while he was boarding a flight bound for Doha.

Egypt sentenced the journalist, who is originally from Egypt, to 15 years in jail in absentia in 2014, alleging that he carried out torture against a lawyer during the protests that affected the country in 2011 and led to the downfall of the Mubarak government.

Al Jazeera said that the charge was "a flimsy attempt at character assassination against of one of its leading journalists".

Mansour said in a statement (published by Al Jazeera): "The airport authorities detained me based on an Interpol order at the request of the Egyptian authorities.

"I informed [ the police] that the global police organisation has rejected Egypt's request and that I have this document from the Interpol to prove that I am not wanted in any charge. 

"I also told them that all the cases that were filed against me in Egypt were fabricated.

"They, however, insisted on holding me in their detention centre for investigation."

Al Jazeera also reported that the arrest of Mansour comes two weeks after Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh Al-Sisi arrived in Germany for a two-day state visit. Mansour was due to be held in Berlin’s Moabit Prison until Monday (today).

The journalist’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have been active since his detainment, posting news and reactions of his arrest from other sources. An active social media campaign has seen widespread support for Mansour and condemnation of a perceived crackdown against journalists.

This publication has previously reported tensions between Al Jazeera and Middle Eastern governments. 

Three Al Jazeera journalists were freed in February after more than 400 days in prison on charges of terrorism and spreading false news.

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