Egyptian authorities arrested a team of journalists from the news channel Al Jazeera English on Sunday, accusing them of broadcasting “false news” that damaged national security as well as possessing written materials that promoted “incitement,” including information about student protests in support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Three of the four journalists were arrested at the Cairo Marriott hotel, where they were said to have turned a series of rooms into an improvised bureau. The journalists have been described in many Egyptian media reports as “a terrorist cell” working in support of the Brotherhood, which the government declared a terrorist organization last week. On Monday evening it was reported that their case had been referred to a special national security prosecutor.
Al Jazeera said that the four journalists detained were Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a Canadian citizen and the channel’s Cairo bureau chief, who previously worked for CNN and contributed to The New York Times; Peter Greste, an Australian and two-decade veteran of Reuters, CNN and the BBC ; Baher Mohamed, a Cairo-based producer; and the cameraman Mohamed Fawzy.
In a statement, Al Jazeera English demanded the release of its employees and called their arrest part of a pattern of “harassment by Egyptian security forces which has arrested our colleagues, confiscated our equipment and raided our offices despite that we are not officially banned from working there.”
August 20, 2013
On it’s first day of broadcasting in the United States, Al Jazeera aired a fake video of a man supposedly dying of a gun shot wound. The footage showed a man lying on his back, with his shirt covered with blood, as a woman kneeled over him screeching. Then a doctor lifted his shirt to inspect the wound, but there was none.
Al Jazeera is funded by Qatar, who also funded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Ironically, just before Al Jazeera aired the video, they had filed a lawsuit against AT&T. A spokesman said, “Al Jazeera America’s strong hope is to resolve this matter quickly so that AT&T’s customers will have access to our unbiased, fact-based and in-depth coverage of the news that is important to Americans.”
Once the doctor lifted the man’s shirt and exposed the lie, the man on the ground repositioned himself to block the camera. The camera was then turned away. The scam was exposed by FSA Crimes, a nonprofit organization that tracks war crimes.
This is not the first time that Al Jazeera was accused of doctoring a tape or perpetrating a fraud in order to show the Muslim Brotherhood in a favorable light.
The following is a statement by FSA Crimes:
“The strong bias of Al Jazeera in Egypt was always to be expected. Their support for the Muslim Brotherhood was a given and there was never any doubt that the new interim government had their suspicions about the news agency.”
Al Jazeera did not issue a statement on the incident.