World Bulletin / News Desk
An Al Jazeera journalist was arrested at a Berlin airport on Saturday at the request of Egypt, a lawyer for the Qatar-based satellite network said, a move he described as part of a crackdown by Cairo on the channel.
International lawyer Saad Djebbar told Ahmed Mansour, one of the most senior journalists on the channel's Arabic service, had been abruptly and unexpectedly arrested in Germany.
Cairo's criminal court sentenced Mansour, who has dual Egyptian and British citizenship, to 15 years in prison in absentia last year on the charge of torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011.
Jazeera said at the time the charge was false and an attempt to silence Mansour.
"This is a very serious development," said Djebbar. "We knew that the Egyptians were going to set such a trap to harass our journalists and that is what has happened."
Mansour was arrested as he tried to board a Qatar Airways flight from Berlin to Doha, Djebbar said.
Egyptian authorities accuse Al Jazeera of being a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Qatar-backed movement which dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled in 2013 when he was Egypt's army chief.
After this case, Al Jazeera has urged Germany to immediately release its journalist Ahmed Mansour.
"The crackdown on journalists by Egyptian authorities is well known. Our network, as the Arab world's most-watched, has taken the brunt of this. Other countries must not allow themselves to be tools of this media oppression, least of all those that respect freedom of the media as does Germany," Acting Director General of Al Jazeera network Mostefa Souag said.
"Ahmed Mansour is one of the Arab world's most respected journalists and must be released immediately."
According to Al Jazeera, in a phone call, Mansour told Al Jazeera that he would remain in custody until Monday when he will face a German judge who will decide on his case.Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Haziran 2015, 12:22