Free Journalist Jailed Under False Charges

journal by pete o'shea

Target: Joachim Gauck, President of Germany

Goal: Free journalist facing 15 years in prison on trumped-up charges.

A prominent Egyptian journalist was recently arrested in a German airport while trying to board a flight. Ahmed Mansour, who covered the 2011 Egyptian revolution for Al Jazeera, was detained by German officials complying with an arrest request issued by an Egyptian judge. According to Mansour, he was arrested despite possessing documents from Interpol which deemed Egypt’s arrest order unfounded and invalid.

Mansour was charged in 2011 with the torture of an unnamed lawyer in Tahrir square, a charge which he alleges is false and politically motivated. In 2014, he was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison by the al-Sisi regime, the dictatorial government that came into power following the 2013 ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi.

The Abdul Fattah al-Sisi government is known for its intolerance toward political dissent. Since 2013, thousands of protestors, activists, and politicians have been imprisoned and even sentenced to death. Three more Al Jazeera journalists have been falsely accused by the Sisi regime, two of which remain in prison awaiting a trial in which they will likely be falsely convicted.

Considering these facts, it is ludicrous that Germany would comply with an Egyptian request for Mansour’s arrest. German authorities exercised poor judgement in executing an arrest order which had not been validated by Interpol, and have tarnished their reputation by playing a part in the Egyptian assault on journalists and dissenters. Sign the petition below to demand that Germany free Ahmed Mansour.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Joachim Gauck,

Ahmed Mansour, a prominent Al Jazeera journalist, was recently arrested at a German airport by Egyptian request. Mansour was found guilty of torturing an unnamed lawyer in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution of 2011, and sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison. Human rights groups alleged that the charges against Mansour are politically motivated, while Interpol refused to issue an international warrant for Mansour’s arrest due to Egypt’s lack of evidence.

In the past two years, Egypt has jailed thousands of protesters, activists, and journalists for simply voicing dissent against the Sisi regime. Hundreds have been sentenced to death in mass trials where the accused are not given a proper defense or even allowed to speak. By arresting Mansour, Germany has become a puppet for the oppressive Sisi government’s war on free speech and political freedom. We, the undersigned, demand that Germany immediately free Ahmed Mansour.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pete O’Shea

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