UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Mahmoud Hussein Case

Mahmoud Hussein is a prominent Egyptian journalist who works as a news editor for the Al Jazeera Media Network. He was arbitrarily detained by Egyptian authorities in late December 2016 and has been subjected to cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment for the past 129 days in detention, most of which has been spent in solitary confinement, even though he has yet to be informed of any charges against him.

In April 2017, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights submitted a petition to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Hussein demanding his immediate release.

The petition documents how Hussein’s ongoing arbitrary detention violates the Egyptian Constitution as well as Egypt’s international human rights obligations. It also highlights how Egyptian authorities have increasingly used pretrial detention as a punitive measure against journalists and have specifically targeted Al Jazeera employees over the last few years. Since 2013, Egyptian authorities have arrested at least seven Al Jazeera employees. Another seven have been tried and sentenced to jail in absentia, and two have been sentenced to death.