One of Al Jazeera’s senior reporters, Ahmed Mansour, was released by German authorities on Monday after he was initially arrested Saturday at the request of Egyptian officials.
The network has been embroiled in controversy as of late, as the network faces multiple lawsuits alleging Al Jazeera’s management is deeply racist, anti-women, anti-Semitic, and strives to present a pro-terror, conspiratorial viewpoint.
“I do not have a lot of details about his release but the only thing I know is that he has been released and that his lawyer and Al Jazeera’s lawyer were with him a short while ago,” said Al Jazeera Berlin reporter Eissa Taibi.
German authorities said he was released because of “legal aspects and possible political-diplomatic concerns,” The Guardian reported.
Last year, Mansour, 52, was convicted by the Egyptian government of torturing an attorney in Tahrir Square during the 2011 Islamist revolution that installed a Muslim Brotherhood-led regime in Cairo. By detaining Mansour, Germany was complying with a request of the Egyptian government, which seeks to extradite him back to the country to serve a 15-year prison sentence. Former employees of Al Jazeera have accused the network of acting as an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. They allege that the Doha-based outfit helped supply extremely biased coverage in favor of the group–which has been designated as a terrorist organization in many countries–during its rise to power.
The reporter was arrested in Berlin as he was boarding a flight to Qatar, home to Al Jazeera headquarters in Doha, Time reports.
“It is quite ludicrous that a country like Germany would enforce and support such a request made by a dictatorial regime like the one we have in Egypt,” Mansour said in a video recorded from his prison cell in Germany before his release.
Following the Muslim Brotherhood’s fall in Egypt, Mansour reportedly accused the interim president of Egypt, Adly Mansour, of being Jewish, an allegation that has been interpreted as an attempt to delegitimize his authority.