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More journalists resign from Al Jazeera

Four employees operating in Egypt say the channel is misleading viewers

Gulf News

CAIRO: Four correspondents of the Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera News and its affiliate in Egypt, Al Jazeera’s Mubasher Misr, submitted their resignations this week in protest against the channel’s policies.

Insiders in Al Jazeera’s network told Gulf News that other Egyptian senior employees in the Doha-based headquarters are preparing to leave the channel for the same reasons. ِ

Abdul Bassir Hassan and Ahmad Al Kilani, correspondents of Al Jazeera News in Cairo, resigned on Tuesday.

Abdul Rahman Al Qurashi and Ali Tawfiq, correspondents of Al Jazeera’s Mubasher Misr (Al Jazeera Egypt Live) in Luxor and Aswan governorates, Upper Egypt, resigned on Friday in protest against “biased coverage” that they consider “out of sync with real events in Egypt”.

At the beginning of July 8, Al Jazeera Egypt Live saw 22 members of staff resign over what they alleged was “biased coverage” of the events in Egypt by the Qatari broadcaster. Also, four Egyptian members of editorial staff at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha resigned in protest against what they termed a “biased editorial policy” pertaining to the events in Egypt.

Al Qurashi said he resigned “permanently” from the channel in protest against “the disinformation policy, incitement to violence and fomenting discord and spreading sedition among citizens in different Egyptian governorates”. “Al Jazeera Egypt Live affiliate exceeded all rules of professional coverage of events through its bias in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the last weeks the channel has raised a slogan “You’re with me you are the saint.. you’re against me, you’re the devil,” Al Qurashi added.

He accused Ayman Gaballah, the head of the channel, of instructing the staff in favour of supporting the MB and the Islamists. “Gaballah blamed me when I mentioned in a call-in the formal title of Al Azhar head, Shaikh Ahmad Al Tayyeb, “The Grand Imam of Al Azhar”. Gaballah told me “this person shouldn’t be respected here because he supported the coup [referring to Mursi’s removal],” Al Qurashi said.

Al Qurashi isn’t the first reporter of Al Jazeera in Luxor who resigned. Hegag Salama, former reporter of Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr in Luxor, announced his resignation on air after the ouster of President Mohammad Mursi on July 3, accusing the channel of “airing lies and misleading viewers”.

Tawfiq said that “most reporters of Al Jazeera Egypt Live in governorates are not settled or freelancers working with the channel, but nevertheless they decided today to end cooperation with it”.

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