“It’s a very scary thing,” Wayne Hay told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday.
“I certainly never experienced anything like that before.
“Having your freedom taken away like, and absolutely losing all control, and being cut off from the outside world, really is an extremely difficult thing.”
The former Al-Jazeera TV journalist says he was locked up for six days in a police cell at Helwan, on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital, as authorities cracked down on foreign media.
“It was not pleasant. Our cell that we were kept in was quite large but absolutely filthy,” he told AAP.
“Rubbish was piled up in the corner of the cell, sleeping on concrete slabs. It’s pretty grim.”
But Hay was not given a proper reason for his detention ahead of his deportation for not having the right media credentials.
“It was so murky that we really didn’t know,” he said.
“They were also concerned about the equipment that we had.”
Mr Hay was in Brisbane on Tuesday as the parents of Australian journalist Peter Greste, Lois and Juris Greste, spoke to reporters about their son, a fellow Al-Jazeera reporter, being jailed for seven years on charges of spreading false news and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
He had previously been an Al-Jazeera correspondent in Southeast Asia.