Al Jazeera journalist Ibrahim Helal slams Egypt death verdict
May 8, Cairo: Former director of news of Al Jazeera's Arabic channel Ibrahim Mohamed Helal, who is among three journalists sentenced to death in absentia in Egypt, has slammed the verdict against him as politically motivated.
Helal, who was among six in total given the death sentence on Saturday for allegedly leaking state secrets to Qatar.
There were inconsistencies in the case and that the charges were part of a wider government campaign against press freedoms, Al Jazeera reported.
In a statement released on Saturday, the Al Jazeera Network said it received the ruling "with shock, agitation and condemnation".
The statement said, "The ruling is unprecedented in the history of journalism in the world; it represents a stab in the back of the profession and freedom of expression worldwide.”
"The global and Arab journalistic organisation and the international community should not stand silent in the face of the manipulation by [the
Egyptian government] of a well-established state institution, namely the judiciary, to intimidate free journalism and threaten journalists' lives rather than enforcing justice."
Al Jazeera rejects Egypt's allegations that the network was collaborating with former president Mohamed Morsi's elected government.
Helal said, "The main inconsistency is that we as journalists are accused of cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood and the government of Qatar ... because the media regime, the media tycoons in Egypt are making propaganda every day that Qatar is a big supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood."
The Oslo Times