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Egypt frees Al-Jazeera journalist detained since 2016

CAIRO — An Egyptian court has ordered the release of Al-Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein, detained since 2016 on allegations of spreading false news and defaming Egypt’s reputation.

Hussein, an Egyptian journalist working for the Qatar-based satellite network, was detained at the Cairo airport in December 2016, when he arrived on a family vacation from Doha. No official charges were ever raised against him and Hussein didn’t stand trial.

The Doha-based Al-Jazeera reported the news on its website Thursday, saying Hussein “was arrested without formal charges and kept in prison for 881 days.”

His daughter, Az-Zahra Hussein, said on Facebook that her father will be released “with precautionary measures” — likely meaning he’ll have to report regularly to police — and that he’s soon to be transferred from prison to a police station.

The Associated Press