Aljazeera relieved by Alluni’s release

Aljazeera has said it is relieved at the decision by Spanish authorities to release its correspondent Taysir Alluni after a stretch of 119 days in solitary confinement. Aljazeera also thanked rights groups for support during the detention of their correspondent.

“Aljazeera takes this opportunity to extend its sincere appreciation to its viewers, regional and international human rights organisation, professional and civil societies and all those who supported Taysir, his family and Aljazeera,” the channel said in a statement.

Aljazeera’s correspondent Alluni had arrived at his Granada home, two days after a Spanish court ordered him moved from a maximum security cell to house arrest.

A frail and visibly fatigued Alluni emerged from a police van parked outside his Granada home at 3am (0200 GMT) after what he said was a gruelling five-hour journey from Madrid. “I was strapped into a metal chair for five hours,” he said.

While thanking his peers and the various organisations and individuals who laboured for his release, Alluni also criticised the Spanish government for his detention. “I no longer believe that the rule of law exists in this country (Spain),” he said.

“The trial will be highly politicised and a media affair. The prosecutor who ordered me re-jailed because he alleged I was a flight risk never presented any evidence to support his claim,” Alluni said.

Al-Jazeera, 18 March 2005