Mohamed Fawzy, a former Al Jazeera photographer who was arrested and jailed in Egypt, has sued the network, accusing Al Jazeera of “breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.”
Fawzy and colleagues Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed were arrested in December 2013 and accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Fawzi was later sentenced to 10 years in absentia and cannot return. “Al Jazeera has destroyed my life and the future of my four children,” he said. “I am forced to live in exile in the U.S., away from my family who reside in Egypt.”
The men became the subjects of an international campaign to pressure Egypt to release the journalists. Fawzy was the first of the men to be released, followed by Greste, who was released and deported in February 2015, and Fahmy and Mohamed, released a year ago.
“Mohamed Fawzy was intentionally deceived by Qatari owned Al Jazeera into thinking the network had proper licenses so that his crew could lawfully broadcast from Cairo.” said Fawzy’s lawyer, Martin McMahon representing Fawzy. “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.”
“The network could have resolved our case from the beginning, but they chose to use us as pawns and sued Egypt during our trial against the advice of their longtime corporate lawyer who quit in court, while defending my colleagues who were less fortunate than me and spent more than 400 days in prison,” said Fawzy. “I hope my lawsuit helps protect other Al Jazeera colleagues who suffer from the network’s continued negligence and misrepresentation.”