WASHINGTON, USA – The National Press Club leaders on Saturday, February 6, expressed relief that al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein was released from prison, after four years of unjust detention without trial.
President Lisa Nicole Matthews and National Press Club Journalism Institute president Angela Greiling Keane issued the following statement:
“Mahmoud Hussein had been held for more than four years without a trial or formal charges. This is outrageous treatment by the government of Egypt. Because Hussein produced a story in which he interviewed representatives of both political parties in Egypt, he was accused of being part of the Muslim Brotherhood (one of the parties).
This was not the case. Interviewing a member of a political party does not mean a journalist is part of that party. Not interviewing both parties might mean that the person is not acting as a journalist. Journalism is not a crime and Hussein is not a criminal. We are encouraged that Egypt’s government has ended its cruel treatment of Hussein and allowed him to reunite with his family. We hope it is a sign that Egypt will act like a member of the community of nations and release other journalists it is currently holding in its legal system or in extralegal forms of detention. It is long past time they do so.”
Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.
“The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s non-profit affiliate, promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.”