Al Jazeera Files a Lawsuit Against the Egyptian Al Ahram Newspaper

Published July 29th, 2010 - 09:00 GMT

Al Jazeera Network has filed a lawsuit against the Egyptian-based Al Ahram Newspaper following the publication of false and damaging statements about the international news network and its management. These allegations, which were published in the newspaper on the 9th June, 2010 in an article entitled "Jazeerat AlTaharoush" ("Al Jazeera an Island of Harassment"), were completely baseless, and without merit, and were mainly aimed at damaging the reputation of the Al Jazeera Network.

Further, the defamatory remarks were repeated by Mr. Atef Hazeen, a representative of Al Ahram Newspaper, during an official statement made on several global satellite channels. Mr. Hazeen's incendiary and disparaging statements were republished on various international websites.

Al Jazeera finds the allegations and fabricated information printed in Al Ahram Newspaper to be highly and grossly defamatory, wholly deceptive and journalistically unprofessional. Given the gravity of the allegations made in the article, Al Jazeera aims to seek all legal recourse against Al Ahram for rectifying the damage caused by the article, and compensating those who suffered as a result thereof.

Al Jazeera's spokesperson confirms that the network plans to take legal action against Al Ahram Newspaper in multiple jurisdictions and has already commenced civil and criminal proceedings against the newspaper in the Egyptian as well as the UK Courts, including criminal proceedings against its Editor in Chief Mr. Osama Saraya, the supervisor Mr. Atef Hazeen, and the journalist who wrote the article Ms. Jihan Sharawi. The hearings for these actions are to commence later this summer.

Al Jazeera's spokesperson indicated that the main purpose of these legal actions is not aimed primarily at obtaining financial compensation, rather the key objective of the lawsuit is to ensure that professional standards are upheld and maintained at a high level throughout the journalism industry and that no news organization has the right to abuse these standards. 

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