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No German apology for Al-Jazeera's Mansour

Berlin will conduct reforms to prevent incidents similar to the arrest of Ahmed Mansour, who spent two days in custody at Egypt's request. While expressing "regret," German government stopped short of full apology.

Cases similar to the one of

Al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour

will be checked on a "higher level" in the future, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schäfer announced Wednesday.

In addition, both the German Foreign and Justice ministries are to change the internal regulations, to ensure that such incidents would not be repeated.

"Maybe we could have spared Mr. Mansour two days in detention. We regret it," Schäfer said.

However, there will be no official apology for the Al-Jazeera reporter who was arrested Saturday at Berlin Tegel Airport on a warrant initiated from Cairo.

German officials released Mansour two days later, following a

massive controversy

and protests held by human rights activists and freedom of expression groups.

Egyptian regime 'exporting' dictatorship

Mansour, who holds both British and Egyptian citizenship, was convicted in absentia by and Egyptian court for allegedly taking part in the torture of a lawyer in 2011 in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution. He and Qatar-based Al-Jazeera denounced the accusations as "absurd."

Mansour returned to Qatar on Tuesday. In Doha, he expressed suspicion that his arrest was connected to the diplomatic trip by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who visited Germany earlier in June.

"I fear that the Sissi regime - the dictatorial regime, the tyrannical regime - was successful in perhaps exporting ... its dictatorship to Germany," Mansour said Tuesday.

Activists urging MP's for answers

On Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Schäfer denied the claims that Egyptian government influenced the German judiciary, saying that there was no contact between the two concerning Mansour's arrest.

Human Rights Watch called on German lawmakers on Wednesday to put pressure on their government to get answers and "make sure that proper safeguards are in place to make sure that nothing like this happens again," said Wenzel Michalski, HRW's director for Germany.

dj/sms (EPD, AFP, dpa)

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