Friday, October 31, 2014

Interpol rejects Egypt's request for arrest of Al-Jazeera journalist

No Interpol arrest warrant for Al-Jazeera journalist

Global police body says Egypt's request for international arrest warrant against Ahmed Mansour "did not meet its rules."

October 28, 2014         

The global police organisation Interpol has rejected Egypt's request for an international arrest warrant against Ahmed Mansour, a senior Al Jazeera Arabic TV journalist.

Mansour, who is facing a 15-year jail term in his home country, is one of several journalists working for the Qatar-based media network convicted in absentia by Egyptian courts.

In a statement on Tuesday, Doha-based Al Jazeera quoted Interpol as saying that the "red notice request" issued by Egyptian authorities "did not meet Interpol’s rules."

Egypt has stepped up efforts to curb dissent following the military coup in 2013 that toppled President Mohamed Morsi, ordering the arrest of prominent opposition leaders, Muslim Brotherhood members, activists and journalist.

Three Al Jazeera English journalists - Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste - were arrested late in 2013 and recently marked their 300th day in jail.

An Egyptian court convicted Mansour earlier this month of "carrying out torture against a lawyer in Cairo's Tahrir Square during the revolution" of January 2011.

Mansour has vigorously rejected the charges, which Doha-based Al Jazeera has dismissed as "a flimsy attempt at character assassination."

Speaking to Al Jazeera English on Tuesday, Mansour said the Interpol's rebuff casts doubt on the Egyptian judiciary's decisions.

"The Interpol decision means that all Al Jazeera employees including Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy, convicted by Egyptian courts are completely innocent."

An Al Jazeera Media Network spokesman in the Qatari capital Doha said the Egyptian "campaign" to intimidate journalists is "not working" and called on the government to stop going after journalists including Mansour.

The spokesman also repeated the media network's call for the release of Greste, Mohamed and Fahmy.

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