Community calls verdict ‘irrational’ and a part of a marketing campaign by Egyptian authorities ‘in opposition to Al Jazeera and its journalists’.
Al Jazeera Media Community presenter Ahmed Taha has denounced as “missing logic” the choice by an Egyptian court docket to condemn him to fifteen years in jail in absentia.
Taha stated the ruling is “shameful” for many who issued it, not for himself and fellow journalists.
“This sentence shouldn’t be in opposition to me; it’s in opposition to Al Jazeera Community, in opposition to press freedom and journalists in Egypt,” Taha advised Al Jazeera in a TV interview on Tuesday.
An Egyptian court docket had sentenced Taha to fifteen years in jail for “spreading false information” over a 2018 interview with Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a number one opposition determine and former presidential candidate.
Al Jazeera had additionally condemned what it known as the “irrational verdict”, describing it as an “try to criminalise the occupation of journalism”.
“The Community asserts that the Cairo Legal Court docket’s determination represents one more shame for the authorized and judiciary system in Egypt and that the choice has no authorized basis,” Al Jazeera stated in a press release.
Al Jazeera additionally renewed the decision for releasing 4 of its journalists who’ve been imprisoned in Egypt.
“Al Jazeera Media Community additionally reiterates its demand for the discharge of the 4 Al Jazeera Mubasher journalists, who’re presently detained in Egypt with none fees (Hisham Abdel Aziz, Bahaa El-Din Ibrahim, Ahmed Al-Najdi and Rabie Al-Sheikh),” it stated.
“It calls on all worldwide press freedom organizations to sentence their arbitrary detention and calls for their instant launch.”
It added that the ruling in opposition to Taha is a part of an “ongoing marketing campaign launched by the Egyptian authorities in opposition to Al Jazeera and its journalists”.
A defiant Taha promised to proceed to do his work, saying that he would interview Aboul Fotouh once more if requested as a part of his job. Aboul Fotouh himself was sentenced to fifteen years in jail this week over accusations of plotting in opposition to the state.
“This message will make us extra decided to proceed on this street [of journalism] as a result of we’re doing our work with the utmost professionalism and objectivity and dedication,” Taha stated.
The sentencing of Taha comes months after Egypt launched its Nationwide Technique on Human Rights, a plan to handle abuses dedicated within the nation.
Rights teams have accused the federal government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who got here to energy in a 2013 navy coup, of jailing tens of hundreds of dissidents and outlawing nearly all types of political opposition. Cairo has denied holding political prisoners.
On Tuesday, Taha expressed bewilderment on the ruling in opposition to him. “How would you stand in entrance of the world and say: ‘I sentenced a TV presenter to fifteen years as a result of he hosted a public determine. How are they going to justify this?’”