Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist.
An Interpol red notice is one of the closest instruments to an international arrest warrant. The network says the rejection of the request by Interpol is another clear indication of how the targeted campaign by Egypt against Al Jazeera is failing in the eyes of global opinion.
Mansour was convicted earlier this month in absentia by an Egyptian court and given a 15-year jail term for carrying out alleged torture during the January 25th revolution in 2011. Mansour rejected the charges as absurd, while Al Jazeera dismissed the accusation as a flimsy attempt at character assassination against of one of its leading journalists.
In an email to Al Jazeera’s lawyers, Interpol confirmed receiving a request from Egypt’s National Central Bureau about Mansour, but said that the red notice request “did not meet Interpol’s rules.”
Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed said: “This is further evidence of how Egypt’s legal actions against Al Jazeera are perceived as part of a political campaign against the network. This campaign is plainly not working and we will not be intimidated – journalists and citizens across the world are horrified by these breaches of basic press freedom. After the unjust imprisonment of three of our journalists last year who remain in Egyptian prison, and this unwarranted pursuit of one of the Arab world’s most prominent journalists, the Egyptian authorities should stop undermining freedom of speech, one of the pillars of the civilized world.”
The award-winning network recently won an Emmy and has been the benefactor of multiple journalistic awards. Al Jazeera said that it remained committed to its mission of putting the human being at the centre of its news agenda and giving a voice to the voiceless in the face of continuing harassment and imprisonment of its journalists by the Egyptian authorities.
The network also reiterated its call for the release of the three Al Jazeera English journalists – Baher Mohammed, Mohammed Fahmy and Peter Greste – who have been in jail since 29 December 2013 as part of a separate case.