Al Jazeera condemns Egypt's decision to add some of its journalists to a terrorism blacklist

The pan-Arab news network Al Jazeera has condemned a recent decision by Egyptian authorities to brand some of its journalists as terrorists

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 26 July 2023 12:41 BST
Egypt Al Jazeera
Egypt Al Jazeera (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The pan-Arab news network Al Jazeera has condemned a recent decision by Egyptian authorities to brand some of its journalists as terrorists.

The media outlet, which is owned by the Gulf state of Qatar, said that “a number” of its Egyptian journalists and presenters had been added to a list of alleged terrorists published in an official newspaper earlier this month following a ruling by the Cairo Criminal Court.

“Al Jazeera Media Network strongly denounces the recent move by the Egyptian authorities to reinstate a number of its journalists onto a newly crafted terrorism list,” the network said in a statement Tuesday.

It also called for the release of two reporters — Bahaa Al-Din Ibrahim, who was arrested in February 2020, and Rabee Al-Sheikh, who was arrested in August 2021. Both had traveled back to Egypt from Qatar to visit family, the network said.

Egypt launched a crackdown on Al Jazeera after the 2013 military overthrow of an elected but divisive government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood group. Egypt considers the Brotherhood a terrorist group and accused both Qatar and Al Jazeera of supporting it.

Egypt revoked Al Jazeera’s media credentials, raided its offices and arrested several reporters. The arrest and trial of three Al Jazeera English journalists — Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed — sparked an international outcry.

The three received 10-year prison sentences, but were later released in 2015.

Egypt and Qatar recently restored ties as part of a wider rapprochement among Arab states, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi visiting the country and meeting with its ruling emir in September. In May, Egypt released an Al Jazeera journalist who had been held since 2019.

It wasn't immediately clear how many Al Jazeera reporters had been added to Egypt's terrorism blacklist, which is updated every five years. The broadcaster didn't provide specifics, and the newly updated list includes dozens of names. There was no comment from Egyptian officials.

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