An Egyptian court in Cairo renewed the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein for another 45 days, after he already spent 575 days in prison without charge.
Last month, Hussein’s lawyer called for his immediate release days after he completed the maximum period of detention permitted in a pre-trial arrest in Egypt.
According to the Criminal Procedures Law, authorities should have either released Hussein or referred him to a court by the 18-month mark, which was on June 21.
Hussein was detained on December 20, 2016, by Egyptian authorities upon his arrival in Cairo for an annual vacation to visit his family.
Five days after his initial arrest, Egypt’s interior ministry accused Hussein – an Egyptian national who was based in Qatar – of “disseminating false news and receiving monetary funds from foreign authorities in order to defame the state’s reputation”.
Since then he has been put in solitary confinement, denied his legal rights, and has yet to be formally charged.
Hussein suffered a broken arm while in prison and was refused proper medical treatment for his injury.
Al Jazeera has condemned the repeated renewals of his imprisonment, denies all allegations against Hussein, and demands his immediate and unconditional release.
In February, the United Nations called Hussein’s jailing “arbitrary detention”, saying the “appropriate remedy would be to release Mr Hussein immediately”.
The International Press Institute has also called on Egypt to immediately release Hussein and other journalists in a social media campaign using the hashtag #PressEgypt.
Hussein’s next hearing is scheduled for August 27.