Tag Archives: Egypt

Affiliation and Dual Passports Complicate Journalist’s Case

passport“A Canadian is a Canadian and deserving of diplomatic protection, whatever one thinks of his or her affiliations,” writes  International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe. Today’s column deals with an Egyptian court’s sentences of three journalists this week. Two complications plague the controversial case: the tricky issue of dual citizenship, and their employment by Al Jazeera, a news outlet whose English service professionalism is widely respected, but not in any way matched by its controversial Arabic service. An excerpt:

It’s easy and entirely justifiable to let loose an outraged rant at the prison sentences handed down in Egypt to three Al Jazeera journalists, including Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, after a piece of judicial theatre so farcical it denigrates the name of kangaroo courts.

But whether Fahmy, the acting bureau chief in Egypt for the Al Jazeera television network, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed deserve more consideration than the thousands of other people caught up in the Middle East power struggle is a more difficult question.

Like all journalists operation in conflict zones, they took measured risks in order to do their jobs. That doesn’t mean they are the authors of their own fate, but it does mean they knew what they were getting into, or should have done.

The three were arrested on December 29 last year at Cairo’s Marriott hotel where they had set up a temporary office while they reported on protests against the military ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood administration of President Mohammed Morsi the previous July. After the coup, the military declared the brotherhood a terrorist group. The three Al Jazeera men were accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, broadcasting “false news,” and undermining Egypt’s national security by suggesting the country was on the brink of civil war … read more (subscription required*)

*Log in on the top right of each page (or click here to purchase a subscription or a $1 site day pass) to read:

Dual Citizenship no Guarantee of Protection

For deeper background on the dynamics surrounding Egypt’s government, Al Jazeera, and the state of Qatar – which owns Al Jazeera – read Manthorpe’s column earlier this month, in which he explains how “from being the poster boy for a modernizing Middle East, the filthy rich Gulf state of Qatar has become a menace:”

Soccer bribery is the least of Qatar’s sins

Jonathan Manthorpe’s columnist page is here.

Facts and Opinions is a boutique for slow journalism, without borders. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O performs journalism for citizens, sustained entirely by readers: we do not carry advertising or solicit donations from foundations or causes.  Why? If you’d like to support our journalism, for $2.95 (the price of a cheap brew) you can subscribe to F&O for a month. If that breaks your budget, a one-day pass is $1.) 

Posted in Current Affairs Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Journalists collateral damage in Middle East rivalries

Detained journalists on trial, regional rivalries and allegations of terrorism are roiling the Middle East. International affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe  explains in a new column. Excerpt:

Qatar_rel95A bitter feud among Arab states over relations with radical Islamic groups and how to confront regional rival Iran is threatening to bring new volatility to the already raging insecurity in the Middle East.

The feud pits the oil-rich emirate of Qatar against Saudi Arabia, the other Gulf States of the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. At the heart of the rift is the financial and moral support by Qatar for militant Islamic groups in North Africa, Egypt and rebels fighting the government of President Bashar Assad in Syria, some of which are linked to Al Qaida and other jihadist groups.

Of special concern is Qatar’s vocal and financial support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a network of radical Islamic followers throughout the Middle East and North Africa and which has been declared a terrorist organization in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Log in to read, New rift among Arab states adds to Middle East security threat. ($1 site day pass or subscription required*)

*Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O serves and is entirely funded by readers who buy a subscription or a $1 site day pass. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from non-journalism foundations or causes.

Posted in All, Current Affairs Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Arab Winter of Discontent Lingers

The so-called Arab Spring inflamed democratic imaginations even as activists, citizens, soldiers and rulers clashed violently throughout the region. More than three years after it began, writes international affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe, the democratic potential of the revolution has yet to be realized. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column:

Manthorpe B&WThree years after the flight into exile of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali triggered popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East, there is little to show for the cost in blood and chaos … The picture is not all of doom and gloom, however. In all four countries where long-standing dictatorial regimes were toppled by the popular uprisings, the hammering out of new constitutions is in process, with elections in the offing.

Log in to read the column, Arab Spring Still Waiting to Blossom.*

*F&O premium works are available for a $1 site day pass, or with monthly or annual subscriptions. Real journalism has value, and to avoid the conflicts inherent in advertising or soliciting outside funding F&O relies entirely on reader payments to sustain our professional quality.

Posted in All, Current Affairs Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |