A senior Al Jazeera journalist has been arrested in Germany on an arrest warrant issued by his native country Egypt.
Ahmed Mansour, a broadcaster for Qatar-based Al Jazeera Arabic TV channel, was arrested on Saturday at Berlin’s Tegel airport as he was trying to board a flight to Qatar.
A German police official confirmed that the 52-year old journalist was arrested at Tegel airport following an arrest warrant from Egypt.
لازلت رهن الأعتقال فى مطار برلين فى انتظار تحويلى الى قاضى التحقيق والسؤال هو كيف تحولت الحكومة الألمانية... http://t.co/ui538Wbk5h
— Ahmed Mansour (@amansouraja) June 20, 2015
"I am still under arrest at Berlin airport, waiting to be taken before an investigating judge," Mansour said on his Twitter account.
Al Jazeera, confirmed the arrest and called for his immediate release.
In 2014, an Egyptian court sentenced Mansour in absentia for torturing a lawyer in 2011 on Tahrir Square in Cairo, which was the scene of a mass uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, Al Jazeera said on its website.
Interpol rejected Egypt’s request for an international arrest warrant, Al Jazeera says.
Mansour rejected the charges and described them as “fabricated.” His lawyer, Saad Djebbar told Al Jazeera that the arrest was politically motivated.
Mansour hosts a popular news programme on Al Jazeera Arabic and recently interviewed the chief of Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front, Abu Mohamed Al Golani.
The arrest comes after three Al Jazeera journalists were jailed in Egypt in June 2014 on terrorism charges. All three were released this year after months of campaigning by human rights advocates.
Egypt and Qatar have strained relations since 2013, when the Egyptian army deposed Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Mursi.
Egypt has long accused Qatar of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt sees as an extremist group. Hundreds of its members have been jailed so far, which drew sharp criticism from human rights groups.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi visited Germany on June 3 and had talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.