Tayseer Allouni, an Al Jazeera journalist who was imprisoned in Spain for seven years for 'co operating with a terrorist organisation', has said his detention was purely political.
Allouni, the former Kabul bureau chief, arrived in Doha on March 11.
"The Spanish media stood against me and they have their stance and view against Al Jazeera ... not necessarily against me. They envy Al Jazeera and they fear it at the same," he told the network. "My case was political and it was clear to me. As for the politicians, we knew their motives and some of the judges that took my case served the interests of the politicians."
Allouni, a Syrian Spanish citizen, believes he was targetted because he managed to interview Osama bin Laden shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
On January 17 2012, the European Court for Human Rights decided that Spain's seven- year jail term was not legal and demanded financial compensation for Allouni.
Spanish judiciary violated article 6.1 of the European Convention for Human Rights, which guarantees the inalienable right of citizens to have a fair and independent trial. The ruling also fined Spain 16,000 euros.
At the beginning of March, the Doha Centre for Media Freedom learned that Spain had confiscated Allouni's passport and enforced a travel ban, despite him having served his complete sentence.
"The Centre considers the decision of confiscating Alluni’s passport and preventing him from travelling abroad," said a press release, "a continuation of Spain’s violations of his rights and part and parcel of the illegal case that was brought against him, which various international rights groups agree that it lacks the inalienable right of citizens to have a fair and independent trial.
On his arrival to Qatar, Allouni was greeted by Al Jazeera's director Ahmed bin Jassim al Thani, former director Wadah Khanfar and other colleagues.
He was interviewed by Al Jazeera Arabic, where he broke down in tears as he spoke of his detention.