Cairo – Egyptian authorities have detained a news producer working with Al Jazeera for allegedly spreading false news, state television reported on Sunday.
Prosecutors on Sunday ordered that Mahmoud Hussein be jailed for 15 days pending further investigations on charges of spreading false news.
He was alleged to have fabricated reports on the internal situation in Egypt to be shown on Al Jazeera, the broadcaster added on its website.
The Interior Ministry said Hussein, an Egyptian, was arrested for alleged involvement in “implementing a plot by Al Jazeera aimed at stirring sedition and inciting against state institutions.”
Egyptian government officials had repeatedly accused Al Jazeera of bias toward deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group, an accusation denied by the broadcaster.
The Doha-based network said Hussein had been arrested this week, days after his arrival from Qatar in Egypt to spend his annual holiday.
Al Jazeera added that his detention “represents a new chapter in the Egyptian authorities’ crackdown” on its journalists.
Ties have been tense between Egypt and Qatar since the army’s 2013 overthrow of Morsi following mass protests against his rule.
In May 2016, an Egyptian court sentenced two Al Jazeera employees to death in absentia on charges of leaking secret state documents to Qatar in a case also involving Morsi.
In September 2015, Egyptian President Abdullah Fattah al-Sissi pardoned two other Al Jazeera journalists sentenced to three years in prison each in separate cases.