Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, January 29, 2007

Al-Jazeera journalist to go on trial in Egypt

Howaida Taha, a 43 year-old Egyptian documentary producer for Al-Jazeera, has been charged with harming the country’s national interest, The International Herald Tribune reported yesterday. Taha was detained earlier this month at the Cairo airport with 50 videos in her luggage. According to the authorities, the videos contain fabricated scenes of torture being committed by Egyptian police. She has been released on bail pending the outcome of the trial.

For the recordings on the tapes, actors were used to depict the torture, which according to Hussein Abdel Ghani, the bureau chief for Al-Jazeera in Cairo, is a common method for producing documentaries. Taha, who could be sentenced to up to three years in prison, claims that she obtained approval from the government.

The recent crackdown on leaked torture tapes comes as some Egyptian police officers are being investigated for torturing inmates, sometimes using sexual abuse.

For the entire article, click here.


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