Recently arrested al-Jazeera journalist condemns ‘dictatorship’ in Egypt

Published June 24th, 2015 - 11:30 GMT

An Al Jazeera TV journalist, who was detained in Berlin on Egyptian military regime’s request for two days before he was set free, has said that he opposes the dictatorship of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt.

Addressing a press conference at Berlin's Federal Press Center on Tuesday afternoon, Ahmed Mansour, who described himself as a free journalist that always wrote the truth, said: “I hate dictatorships. I am against the dictatorship regime in Egypt along with all dictator regimes of the world. I love freedom."

Mansour reiterated that he was falsely accused since the very beginning by Egyptian authorities.

"Last October, the Egyptian Prosecutor's Office issued a decision against me that included 180 different allegations. They actually wanted to say 'We will chase Ahmed Mansour wherever he goes.' Can you imagine? A state is pursuing a journalist that takes a stance against dictatorship and conveys you the truth," he said.

Mansour’s remarks came in the aftermath of his arrest Saturday in Berlin as he was about to board a plane to Qatar. The incident came two weeks after el-Sisi’s visited Germany. The journalist, who has both Egyptian and British citizenship, was released two days later.

"It is meaningful that I was detained after Sisi's visit," he said, adding that he was not detained when he visited Berlin in February last.

About his visit to Germany, the journalist said that he only came to the country to interview Guido Steinberg from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and get comments about Germany's Middle East policy and Sisi's visit to Germany.

About his fears under detention in Germany, Mansour said that ever since he became a journalist, he had "killed his fears".

"It was not the first problem I faced. I have reported news from Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, from the Bosnian war and Iraq's Fallujah," he said.

"I also reported from Egypt, Tunisia and Libya during the Arab Spring. One must be brave if he is a journalist," he said.

Asked if he had any links with the Muslim Brotherhood organization, Mansour said: "I am associated with the group as much as you are."

He said that his detention in Berlin must be a concern for not only him but for all those who wanted to practice journalism freely in the world.

Mansour offered his gratitude again to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support during his detention in Berlin. He also expressed a desire to thank Erdogan in person. "I interviewed him three times, and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu six times as a guest on my TV show," he said during a visit to Anadolu Agency's office in Berlin.

Mansour said he would return to the Qatari capital of Doha to appear on his own program Wednesday. He added that he would also visit Germany again in the coming weeks for a series of interviews with a number of politicians.

The Egyptian government accuses Al Jazeera of bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood group -- an allegation the channel denies.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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