Former Al Jazeera cameraman Mohamed Fawzy is suing the network for gross negligence for putting him in a position where he ended up in jail. Fawzy was convicted of “spreading false news” and faced jail, along with fellow Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed.
iMediaEthics’ special investigation in 2014 first reported some of the claims about Al Jazeera’s reporting in Egypt. The Qatar-owned network didn’t get licenses for its journalists in Egypt and the Al Jazeera-appointed lawyer, Farag Fathy Farag, complained that Al Jazeera was undermining the arrested journalists’ case.
“Mohamed Fawzi was intentionally deceived by Qatari owned Al Jazeera into thinking the network had proper licenses so that his crew could lawfully broadcast from Cairo.” Fawzy’s lawyer Martin McMahon said in a press release sent to iMediaEthics, “Al Jazeera failed to inform him that the network was aiding and abetting the Muslim Brotherhood, designated as terrorist organization, in an attempt to bring down the Sisi government.”
In the press release, Fawzy said in part, “Al Jazeera has destroyed my life and the future of my four children. I am forced to live in exile in the U.S., away from my family who reside in Egypt.” Fawzy criticized Al Jazeera for using him and the others “as pawns.”
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Fawzy told iMediaEthics by e-mail the case has hurt his children’s chance to work in Egypt and that he was sent to the U.S. and had his contract canceled. He said Al Jazeera “knew” that its journalists would be arrested and would be working there illegally because he was sent to Egypt after Al Jazeera lost its license. They “didn’t care about our safety,” he wrote.
iMediaEthics contacted Al Jazeera for comment but has had no response.
Mohamed Fahmy filed a lawsuit against Al Jazeera last year for negligence. In the suit, Fahmy said Al Jazeera failed by not getting its staff permits needed to work in Egypt, by not providing better security and by promoting the Muslim Brotherhood, as iMediaEthics previously reported.