Portuguese / Spanish / English

Journalist awarded $109,000 damages for being asked to smear Egypt, UAE critics

Mohamed Fawzi (L), former Al Jazeera English cameraman, listens while Mohamed Fahmy, former Al Jazeera English reporter, speaks during a press conference at the National Press Club about a lawsuit against Qatar's Al Jazeera 22 June 2017 in Washington, [BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images]
Mohamed Fawzi (L), former Al Jazeera English cameraman, listens while Mohamed Fahmy, former Al Jazeera English reporter, speaks during a press conference at the National Press Club about a lawsuit against Qatar's Al Jazeera 22 June 2017 in Washington, [BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Journalist Jane Cahane has been awarded £80,000 ($108,854) in damages from the Investigative Journal after being hired on false pretences, to smear critics of the UAE and Egypt, rather than to cover a diversity of viewpoints from an independent, objective standpoint.

TIJ CEO Mohamed Fahmy has previously spent a year in prison in Egypt after a politically motivated trial for "broadcasting false news" which was connected to his work for Al Jazeera.

He was arrested in 2014 with Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste and sentenced to seven years in prison before being pardoned a year later in a trial that made international headlines.

Fahmy went on to issue a $60 million lawsuit against Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, for knowingly endangering his life.

It was later revealed by the New York Times that the UAE was funding this legal action to the tune of £200,000 ($272,148), after they saw his exchanges with the UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba, whose emails were hacked.

READ: Egypt prepares for tumultuous years ahead by building the largest prison in its modern history

The UAE is a close ally of Egypt, and the two countries were part of the quartet which imposed the blockade on Qatar.

During her interview for the job as editor-in-chief of the TIJ, Cahane was told by Fahmy that the publication was an independent investigative journalism platform.

Cahane said that Fahmy was actually "assisted and directed" by representatives of the UAE and that he met with the Egyptian president in June 2019 "to discuss TIJ's editorial line and content," reports the Guardian. 

Cahane was awarded £80,735.92 ($109,860.52) for fraudulent and/or negligent misrepresentation plus costs.

Senior master Fontaine of the high court in London said in a written judgement, as reported in the Guardian: "This was a particularly difficult and sensitive area relating to journalism and the funding of journalism for purposes that were alleged to be political rather than independent and relates to alleged funding from Middle Eastern sources … the reputation of the claimant as a journalist of integrity was at stake and for her that concern was likely to have been as important as the financial claim that she has made, and that has to be appropriately reflected [in the remedy]."

Categories
AfricaAsia & AmericasEgyptEurope & RussiaMiddle EastNewsQatarUAEUKUS
Show Comments
Order your copy of our latest book - Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas's Foreign Policy - Palestine
Show Comments