Mansour: Only world leader that gave me support is Erdogan

After his release from detention in Germany, Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour thanks Turkey’s President Erdogan and PM Davutoglu for their support while he was in jail

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

After being released from a jail in German capital Berlin, Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for their care and concern while he was behind the bars.

“I thank the freedom leader, not only for his own people, but for all the people of the world, [Turkish President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan," Mansour said.

“Thank you Turkey, thank you Turkish president and Turkish prime minister.”

Mansour was detained at a Berlin airport on Saturday on his way from Berlin to Doha, Qatar. He was sent to Moabit Prison after his arrest.

German officials released Mansour on Monday.

"Thanks to people around the world who supported me in the last days," Mansour said and with joy added, "I'm free, I'm free, I'm free."

Supporters had protested in front of the Berlin court building where Mansour was held and over 25,000 people signed a petition calling on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for his release.

Mansour evaluated the judicial process he went through after being arrested and added that he was released without being charged of any wrongdoing.

He said his arrest was politically motivated and indicated that a statement was issued regarding this issue, adding there was no evidence for his incrimination.

The Al Jazeera journalist said that this was an arrest that took place upon the request of Egyptian authorities and emphasised that the Abdel Fattah el Sisi government received a big blow and defeat in Berlin.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) asked Egyptian officials to stop the pursuing of Al Jazeera journalists.

Mansour was sentenced in Egypt to 15 years in prison, with two other Muslim Brotherhood members and a cleric, for supposedly excruciating a lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011, according to court records. This accusation was rejected by both Al Jazeera and Monsour.

Reacting to the German court's decision, Al Jazeera’s acting director general Mostefa Souag called Mansour's detention "an unfortunate incident."

Souag spoke regarding Mansour’s detention and the court decision saying, ”We are pleased that the mistake has been rectified. We hope that this will be a lesson to the Egyptian authorities that the rest of the world values freedom of the press. Rather than trying to expand their war on journalists, they should free the journalists they have on trial and in jail in Cairo, including Baher [Mohamed] and [Mohamed] Fahmy, and end the action against those tried in absentia.

"I’d like to place on record my sincere thanks to everyone who intervened on behalf of Ahmed, including diplomats, politicians, NGOs and the thousands who signed the Avaaz petition. We look forward to welcoming Ahmed home."

Ahmed Mansour underlined that he received consistent support from Erdogan while he was in jail.

“He [Erdogan] is the only leader in the world who supported me while I was behind bars,” Mansour said.

He also informed that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also called him twice asking about his current situation.

“Davutoglu called my lawyer yesterday and obtained information about my current situation. He is said to have called me today again and asked when I will be released,” Mansour said.

“I give props to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.”


TRTWorld and agencies