Al-Jazeera staff resign

July 10, 2013 at 7:33 AM
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CAIRO, July 10 (UPI) -- Some 22 al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt said they resigned, blaming what they called the Qatari satellite broadcaster's bias favoring the Muslim Brotherhood.

Journalists said the network issued instructions to favor the Brotherhood in coverage of events in Egypt, al-Arabiya reported Wednesday.

"I felt that there were errors in the way the coverage was done, especially that now in Egypt we are going through a critical phase that requires a lot of auditing in terms of what gets broadcast. My colleagues have also resigned for the same reason," anchor Karem Mahmoud told al-Arabiya. "The management in Doha provokes sedition among the Egyptian people and has an agenda against Egypt and other Arab countries," Mahmoud told Tuesday.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy, journalist and former head of the Egypt News Center under former president Hosni Mubarak, praised the journalists, and described al-Jazeera as a "propaganda channel" for the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Al-Jazeera turned itself into a channel for the Muslim Brotherhood group. They are far away from being professional. When the Muslim Brotherhood collapsed, they continued to play the role," el-Menawy said.

Wessam Fadel, who also resigned Monday, told the network misled viewers.

"Unfortunately, I was working in a place which I thought had credibility, but it is credibility based on a despicable political position," Fadel said, adding the network broadcast old footage of Tahrir Square in the recent uprising, claiming the images were current.

The Qatari broadcaster denied the allegations and in a statement to al-Arabiya noted following Mohamed Morsi's ouster, the station's personnel became the target of attacks and a number of journalists were detained by the authorities.

"Throughout our history we've had to cope with crackdowns. This unfortunately is nothing new. We will carry on doing our job regardless -- upholding the highest standards of journalism, covering all angles of events in Egypt with balance and integrity."

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