News / Middle East

Egypt Arrests Al Jazeera Journalists

Al Jazeera reports that its journalists--(clockwise from bottom left) Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fawzy--are being held after being arrested by Egyptian security forces on Sunday, Dec. 29. (Al Jazeera)
Al Jazeera reports that its journalists--(clockwise from bottom left) Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fawzy--are being held after being arrested by Egyptian security forces on Sunday, Dec. 29. (Al Jazeera)
Edward Yeranian
Qatar-based Al Jazeera television reports that four of its journalists were arrested after the Egyptian interior ministry accused them of broadcasting illegally from a Cairo hotel.

It's not the first time Egyptian security forces have detained journalists from Al Jazeera TV, but the latest arrests are creating anxiety among the international press corps.

The Egyptian interior ministry accused the four Al Jazeera English journalists, who were detained over the weekend, of meeting with Muslim Brotherhood figures. Egypt's interim government officially declared the opposition Brotherhood a “terrorist group” last week.

An Al Jazeera spokeswoman said the network asked Egyptian authorities to release the journalists since Al Jazeera has not officially been banned from operating in the country.

"Jazeera media network condemns the arbitrary arrests of the Al Jazeera English journalists Mohamed Fahmi, Peter Greste, Fahem Mohamed and Mohamed Fawzi, and we call on their immediate and unconditional release," said Aya Elwadia. "The Al Jazeera media network has been subject to harassment by Egyptian security forces which have arrested our colleagues, confiscated their equipment and raided our offices, despite that we're not officially banned from working there."

Egyptian media has been increasingly critical of foreign press organizations, especially Al Jazeera for what it claims is “biased reporting” in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Posters denouncing the network can be seen in parts of Cairo, with the slogan "the camera lies."

Egyptian officials have accused Al Jazeera of exaggerating the size of demonstrations, overinflating casualty figures, and using incendiary language to create strife.

Veteran Egyptian editor and publisher Hisham Kassem believes Al Jazeera has “lost a great deal of prestige” in recent years by not maintaining neutral coverage, but says Egyptian officials went overboard in arresting the four journalists.

"It's a stupid mistake. In no way should the Egyptian government have responded in this way," Kassem said. "I don't think Egyptians need somebody to guide them like the Egyptian government is doing by denying Jazeera operations and I really think the station should be allowed to operate freely, with all my reservations against it and that it's become very biased and unprofessional.”

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reported that conditions "deteriorated dramatically” in Egypt in 2013. Six journalists were killed there in 2013.

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Comment Sorting
by: Dr. Simon C. from: UK
December 30, 2013 12:46 PM
the British might think that cuddling Islamic terrorists on their territory might buy them time or even immunity from the atrocities they visit on other democratic nation... but we all know that that is a false hope... Britain is decaying faster than most... the BBC is indistinguishable from Al Jazeera or any other terrorist propaganda... I personally think that Britain is envy Israel... and its jealousy is expressed by acrimony...

by: Doreen H. from: USA
December 30, 2013 11:12 AM
Al Jazeera is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Hamas axis of evil...
and the more i read about Egypt the more i like the Egyptian Government. who knows more than they do how to deal with these terrorist?? The Islamic terrorists thought they had found a loophole in "journalism" as cover to inject their malevolence into a peaceful society... Al Jazeera is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Hamas axis of evil

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
December 30, 2013 8:15 AM
Journalists from Al Jazeera can be regarded as complimentary terrorists. In all, journalists who engage in sympathy reporting bias in favor of jihadists and terrorists should be regarded as terrorists. But because they are terrorizing with the pen and often incite rather assuage and mitigate situations, they compliment the acts of terror fueling those who now carry out terror activities with impunity. I watch what Al Jazeera reports in their main stations - Doha and London, the anti Semitic position, the praise of terrorists and the acrimonious reportage especially involving Israel on the Palestinian issues. Now, was it not a grave mistake to send a Muslim Brotherhood agent into Egypt just waking up to the ban on the organization in the country?

Remove complementary terrorism and the axis of terror will be reduced. Actual terror is fueled and given rein by complementary terrorism, and that is rife in all of Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference nations. Something must be done about complementary terrorist if terrorism must stop. Egypt has taken the first step, let other countries that harbor and support these pen-terrorists fall in line in France, England Germany, and USA, and terrorism will die a natural death.

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