Al Jazeera Denounces Death Sentence of their Journalist by Egyptian Court

Dr. Mostefa Souag, visit Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network has condemned the decision taken by the Egyptian Criminal Court to sentence Ibrahim Helai, the former director of news at the Arabic channel and his counterpart Alaa Shaban to death.

The two journalists were on Saturday June 18th sentenced to death by the Egyptian Criminal Court over cases of espionage.

According to Aljazeera officials, the journalists were falsely accused of wrong doing under what is known as the Espionage Case, together with the deposed former president Mohamed Morsi, and a number of media professionals.

“Al Jazeera Media Network denounces, condemns, and entirely rejects the verdict. Al Jazeera believes this is an unjust and politicized sentence that is a part of the ruthless campaign against freedom of speech and expression, in order to muzzle the voice of free press. Al Jazeera finds the sentence incriminating to the profession of journalism, which all international laws and legislation seek to protect, and to all journalists, who should be enabled to report with objectivity, professionalism, and integrity,” a statement released by the network reads in part.

Dr. Souag said that “The sentence issued by the Egyptian Criminal court is considered an entire failure for the justice and court system in Egypt; a country classified as one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work in. This sentence is only one of many politicized sentences that target Al Jazeera and its employees. They are illogical convictions and legally baseless. Al Jazeera strongly denounces targeting its journalists and stands by the other journalists who have also been sentenced.”

He pointed out that all the sentences issued and all the legal cases presented to Egyptian courts against Al Jazeera’s journalists since deposing the former president Mohamed Morsi are legally baseless, and that all the trials were conducted in an environment that lacked accuracy and integrity.

He affirmed that all allegations against Ibrhaim Helal are totally false and that the only thing such allegations prove is that the Egyptian judiciary system is no longer independent but rather a follower to the executive authorities who dictate all its decisions.

Dr. Souag confirmed that Al Jazeera is and will be standing by Ibrahim Helal and Alaa Sablan, like it did with all its journalists who were subjected to similar circumstances; and it will not deviate from its editorial policy or code of ethics.


He called upon the international community- in general- and upon international and humanitarian organizations in particular to show solidarity with the journalists who received unjust sentences that outrageously oppose all international and regional laws and conventions that clearly support the protection of journalists and incriminate all forms of assault against them.

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