AlJazeera’s Howaida Taha Cleared of Egypt Defamation Charge
Masr Al-Jadeeda Appeals Court issued its ruling on Monday, Feb 11th, AlJazeera reporter Howaida Taha, dismissing the prison ruling which was issued earlier against the Egyptian journalist. State Security prosecution accused Taha last year of practicing an activity that harms national interests and of shooting a media material without taking permission from authorities.
These charges came after Taha shot the documentary (Behind the Sun) that covered torture cases in Egypt . Lawyer Ahmed Helmi, a member of Taha”s defense panel, said that the report of the court”s technical committee proved that there were no fabricated scenes or shots. The doc contained only ordinary acting scenes, contrary to claims in the prosecution that described the scenes as fabricated.
Immediately after the court ruling, Hussein Abdul Ghani, chairman of AlJazeera office in Cairo , told Ikhwanweb that there is still a big problem as long as the Egyptian law still contains a legislation that orders a prison sentence in cases that involve freedom of publication and expression.
Stressing that he can”t comment on court rulings, Abdul Ghani saw that such Egyptian law articles that curb the freedom and stipulate throwing journalists to prison must be rescinded.
Such unacceptable cases against journalists are found in only a few countries”, he said adding that Egypt of the Pyramids and ancient civilization and that has been enjoying democracy since the 19th century, should bring to an end such legislations that send journalists to prison only for expressing their views.
With these legislations still applied, AlJazeera office chief says that any one can fabricate a case against any journalist and sends him to prison. “This actually sends to more plunges the future of the press and journalists in Egypt “, he said citing the cases filed against four editors-in-chief of four independent dailies in Egypt .