Journalist Ahmed Mansour freed from German custody

Ahmed Mansour, a senior journalist with the Arabic news network, Al Jazeera, who was arrested in Berlin as he attempted to board a flight from Berlin’s Tegel Airport, has been freed.

He was detained as he attempted to board a flight from Berlin destined for Qatar.

Mansour had been convicted in absentia by an Egyptian court and sentenced to 15 years for crimes which include torture.

Mr. Mansour has rejected the verdict as “absurd.”

“Piotr Malachowski, German justice ministry spokesman, said Mr.  Mansour had been picked up on the basis of a request from Interpol, which had gone through two government ministries before being routinely passed along to federal police,” said an article in The Telegraph.

German authorities refused to provide any details related to Mansour’s release however, the German Foreign Ministry stated no individual would be extradited from Germany if they faced the death penalty.

Mr. Mansour’s arrest was greeted with a demand by Al-Jazeera for his release.

Al-Jazeera also published a text from an e-mail implying the Egyptian request for extradition to Interpol had been rebuffed and Mr. Mansour’s name was not in Interpol’s crime database.

The arrest was also accompanied by a barrage of protests gathered outside Berlin’s Moabit Prison denouncing the arrest and protesting the stifling of free speech.

Mr. Mansour was released early Monday morning and was making arrangements to leave the country.

“I extend my thanks and appreciation to the honest and honorable German judge,” he said in Arabic.

Whatever the reasons for his arrest, and now his release, Mr. Mansour’s fate will be decided by the country for which he is destined.

 

[Al-Jazeera] [bbc.com] [telegraph.co.uk]