We Support AlJazeera Journalist Howaida Taha
Thursday, May 3,2007 00:00
By Ikhwanweb

 Ikhwanweb expresses its full solidarity with journalist Howaida Taha who is currently facing a prison sentence because she exposed the scandalous tortures exercised against Egyptian citizens in police stations.
An Egyptian court sentenced Howaida Taha, the journalist at Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel, to six months in prison and fined her 10 thousand Egyptian pounds on charge of hurting the higher interests of the country, fined her 20 thousand pounds on charge of fabricating and possessing photos that defame Egypt.
Howaida Taha was preparing a documentary about tortures that detainees face in Egyptian police stations, but they authorities at Cairo International Airport arrested her on Jan., 8th and took fifty tapes and her laptop while she was heading for Doha to prepare the series.
Weeklong investigations accused Howaida Taha of "exercising activities that may harm the national interests of the country"; after one night in jail, she was released pending trial on 10 000 Egyptian pounds bail ( about 1700 USD).
Aljazeera office in Cairo confirmed that the journalist got all necessary licences from the Egyptian Interior Ministry before shooting the episodes and holding interviews with security officials and attending training courses in preparation of the program.
For its part, Reporters Without Borders expressed its severe concern over the continuously rising number of journalists standing trial in front of Egyptian courts, including Howaida Taha, confirming that they pay the cost of condemning what it called "the regime’s haphazard exercises."
After she was arrested and charged, several Egyptian newspaper attacked on journalist Howaida Taha and Aljazeera channel, and called on official authorities to take an action against them under allegations that AlJazeera is continuously attacking Egypt.
It is worth mentioning that AlJazeera journalist Ahmad Mansour was beaten by unknowns persons two years ago in front of the channel’s office in Cairo. While its Cairo office manager, Hussein Abdul Ghani was arrested before releasing him on 10000 pounds bail last year, on charge of publishing reports about explosions that didn’t happen with Dhahab explosions in Sinai.
Howaida Taha, sentenced in absentia, and is living in Qatar now, has previously written several articles in which she criticized the regime in Egypt, and attacked what she described as hereditary transfer of power plans, specially during 2005 presidential elections.
Howaida Taha who prepared the program and aired two episodes of it on Aljazeera, although the confiscated the tapes, can appeal against the ruling.
For his part, Khaled Salam, editor-in-chief of Ikhwanweb, condemned the ruling against journalist Howaida Taha; he saw it as part of the Egyptian regime’s continuous undemocratic exercises against its critics.
Salam added that trying journalists trial for doing their duties reflects the narrow-mindedness of the current regime that refuses even to see even some of its scandals and hideous exercises aired on a TV show.
We, Ikhwanweb, declare our full solidarity with Howaida Taha, the journalist in Aljazeera, and declare our solidarity with all honorable and free journalists who face this repressive regime, added Salam.
Salam demanded Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to intervene and fulfill his election program promise of not jailing any journalist.

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