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Al Jazeera Journalist Detained In Germany On Egypt's Request

The reporter was reportedly detained due to an international arrest warrant issued by the Egyptian government, which convicted the reporter in absentia in 2014.

Posted on June 20, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. ET

An Al Jazeera journalist was detained Saturday in a German airport at the request of Egyptian authorities, prompting an online petition to have the reporter released.

Ahmed Mansour, a senior Arabic TV journalist with Al Jazeera, was detained in Tegel Airport in Berlin Saturday before boarding a flight to Doha, Qatar, the reporter posted on his Facebook page.

The reporter told Al Jazeera he was informed he would stay in Germany until Monday, where he is expected to come before a judge who will decide his case.

According to Al Jazeera, Mansour was convicted in absentia in an Egyptian court in 2014 on allegations that he had tortured a lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011.

Both Mansour and Al Jazeera have rejected the charges.

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Mansour also posted a video online where he stated he was detained based on an Interpol order filed by Egyptian authorities.

"They told me that they will transfer me to face an investigative judge, who will determine my case," he told Al Jazeera. "I refused to sign the detention request until I speak to my lawyer who just got here."

Mansour also stated on Facebook he still had access to his phone and would continue to update his situation if he could. He posted a picture of what he said was the warrant issued by the Egyptian government.

A spokesman for the German Federal Police told Reuters a 52-year-old was arrested in the airport because of an international warrant from Egypt, but said they were working on verifying the man's identity.

BuzzFeed News reached out to German authorities, but received no immediate response.

Tensions between the news agency and the Egyptian government have been high since the 2011 revolution and the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.

Egyptian officials have accused Al Jazeera of being aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, whose government was toppled in 2013 by then army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has since become president.

Al Jazeera has also been seeking $150 million in compensation for damages that it claims it has suffered as a result of the country's military-backed leadership.

Earlier this year, Egypt released another Al Jazeera reporter, Australian Peter Greste, after holding him for 400 days.

Mansour's arrest also sparked an online petition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to release the journalist. It had collected more than 7,700 signatures just hours after his detention.

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