Egypt confirms Al Jazeera producer Mahmoud Hussein's arrest for 'fake news'

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Egypt has confirmed it has arrested an Al Jazeera news producer, accusing him of "provoking sedition" on behalf of the Qatar-based broadcaster that the country considers a mouthpiece of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Judicial sources said Mahmoud Hussein, who was detained on Friday, was being held on charges of disturbing public security and spreading false news.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement Al Jazeera officials "had ordered some individuals collaborating with the channel inside the country to continue implementing its media plan of provoking sedition, incitement against the state, and spreading chaos through broadcasting false news".

It identified Mr Hussein as a person implementing that plan for the channel, which is not allowed to operate inside Egypt.

Al Jazeera issued a statement later on Sunday denying the "fabricated charges" brought against Mr Hussein and demanding his immediate release, adding that he was in Egypt on vacation and not for work.

"[Hussein] is a news producer in the Al Jazeera Arabic newsroom and not a correspondent supervisor as alleged by the statement ... [he] would not have travelled through the airport at Egypt if he was undertaking any illegal activities as alleged by the MOI statement," the statement said.

The broadcaster expressed concerns over Mr Hussein's safety.