Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network has filed a claim with the World Bank’s arbitration body against the Egyptian government for USD 150 million in damages.
The network is accusing Egypt’s government of “harassing journalists and damaging [Al Jazeera’s] office and equipment,” which violates a 1999 treaty between Egypt and Qatar that “ensures treatment of Al Jazeera’s staff in a manner consistent with international human rights laws, and respect for their right to freedom of expression.”
According to Al Jazeera, the claim was filed last week with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) but the network’s lawyers formally made the announcement on Wednesday.
While Egyptian authorities have yet to formally respond to the case, many Egyptians view Al Jazeera unfavorably and believe it is biased against Egypt.
“Egypt is accused by Al Jazeera of systematically and deliberately targeting the network in the aftermath of the January 25 uprising in 2011, which brought down former President Hosni Mubarak,” reads the article on the news website.
In a highly publicized case, three staff members from Al Jazeera English were arrested in Cairo in December 2013 and sentenced to prison on charges of supporting a terrorist organization by spreading of false information. The convictions were later overturned on appeal and a retrial was ordered.
After spending 400 days in prison, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed were released on bail a week after their Australian colleague, Peter Greste, was released and deported.
Following his release from prison, Fahmy announced he would be suing Al Jazeera in a Canadian court for $100 million for negligence, misrepresentation and breach of contract.