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January 14, 2007


Nur al-Cubicle

Le Monde did a front page story Saturday on the uploading of torture pics from Egyptian prisons by bloggers:


Blogger Wael Abbas is featured prominently.

Nur al-Cubicle

Here's what the article says about Taha

Far from recognizing their misdeeds, the Egyptian authorities are pursing isolated cases and seek to keep their practices under wraps. On Saturday January 13th, al Jazeera announced that one of its producers, who was filming a documentary in Egypt on police brutality, appeared in court yesterday. Mrs. Taha was scheduled to leave Egypt on January 8th but was stopped at Cairo Airport, where 50 recordings and her laptop were confiscated. "We have no information on the charges pending against her", says the manager of al Jazeera's Cairo bureau.


Stupid question, why do the re-enactments in Egypt? It would seem like you could rent a studio and hire actors anywhere. Why put yourself in a position to have your work confiscated? I think the Egyptians are very much in the wrong, of course, but it seems like a dumb situation to get yourself into.


"Stupid question, why do the re-enactments in Egypt?"

This is pure speculation on my part, but I suspect that the video tapes she had were actual footage of real police interrogations, the Egyptian authorities are trying to pawn them off as reproductions and al-Jazeera is going along with it to gain favorable treatment for Taha and future al-Jazeera employees working in Egypt. I don't see how carrying that many obsolete tapes in your luggage makes sense from a production point of view, much less from a security point of view.

Or maybe I'm just cooking up a crackpot conspiracy theory. One can never tell when dealing with Arab governments.

Tom Scudder

Thinking of an alternate possible reason - because you want to get things as close to accurate as possible, and so you get the feedback of the actual torture victims on the tape or during the production. Which seems kind of ghoulish, but...


She's out on bail:

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