Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Huwaida Taha is sentenced to six months in prison

On the eve of International Press freedom day, when the Comittee to protect journalists just issued it´s annual ranking of the 10 most deteriorating countries in terms of press freedom. Egypt made the list, ranking number seven.

As if they intentionally were throwing a celebration party, The Nuzha Misdemeanours Court in Cairo issued it´s verdict against Huwaida Taha today. Taha, who produced the al Jazeera documentary on torture in Egypt, ¨behind the sun¨(Wará ash Shams in arabic) was sentenced to six months in prison, and ordered to pay a fine of 30 000 Egyptian pounds/equivalent to 5200 USD.

She was found to be guilty of ¨harming Egypt´s national interest¨

The sum of the fine was divided in two, 10 000 for tarnishing Egypt´s image and harming national interest and 20 000 for ¨fabricating footage¨ meaning that she had actors playing the scenes of torture.

Huwaida Taha was tried in absentia, she´s currently in Qatar.The verdict will be appealed according to al Jazeera´s Cairo office

Read my entry on the documentary here

Taha was held in custody for 48 hours in January, when she was leaving Cairo after completing the research for the documentary, the state security confiscated her tapes , computer and other material at the airport and questioned her before letting her leave the country.

UPDATE: Here is the Human Rights Watch statement concerning Tahas sentence.


Blogger Ancient Clown said...


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6:16 PM  
Blogger Sniff said...

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10:20 PM  
Anonymous sayed said...

Ironically enough, her arrest and case is what brought the documentary so much attention. Hat they let it go, it would've been but a blip on anyone's radar screen.

But this is along the lines of how the Egyptian government operates, backwards.

10:31 PM  
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11:58 AM  

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