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Defamation campaign in Egypt targets Al-Jazeera Network

February 8, 2014 at 2:48 am

Al-Jazeera network has accused the Egyptian authorities of enforcing strict measures on their employees in Egypt and denied siding with Islamists in its coverage of the Egyptian crisis.

Egyptian security forces broke into Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr offices in Cairo just hours after the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was removed by the army. Egyptian military sources accused Al-Jazeera of “incitement”.

Many Egyptians have criticised Al-Jazeera network, based in Qatar, for taking the side of the Islamists in its coverage of the Egyptian issues.

Al-Jazeera asserted that the Egyptian authorities have been enforcing “strict measures in different ways on its staff in Cairo.” Al-Jazeera was unable to reach Egyptian officials on Tuesday to comment on the issue because it was an official holiday.

Al-Jazeera said that the strict measures included a complaint being filed to the Public Prosecution Office against its staff accusing them of stealing two satellite propagation units owned by Egyptian TV. They allegedly used them to cover a pro-Morsi protest near a mosque in North Cairo.

On Monday, Al-Jazeera correspondents were prevented from attending official press conferences and received threats ordering them not to cover other incidents.

In a statement, Al-Jazeera denied the propaganda claims against it and claims that it was taking sides at the expense of others involved in the political situation in Egypt.

Al-Jazeera official spokesperson Ghassan abu-Hussein said that “despite the challenges facing our staff in Egypt, we affirm the retention of our editorial policy. Al-Jazeera is committed to the highest standards of professionalism and objective coverage.”

Abu-Hussein expressed his concerns regarding the safety and freedom of its staff due to the “defamation campaign” targeting it.

After covering Wednesday’s pre-dawn attack on pro-Morsi protesters at Roxy Street, which claimed the lives of two and injured 15, an Al-Jazeera correspondent received a call from someone identifying himself as a security officer asking him not to report the news to Al-Jazeera.