CAIRO Feb 9 A Cairo prosecutor has ordered the
detention of an Egyptian accused of altering photographs before
sending them to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news network and of
belonging to a terrorist organisation, judicial sources said on
Egyptian authorities have arrested several Al Jazeera
journalists in recent months and accuse the network of bias
towards the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt has cracked down hard on the Brotherhood since the
army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Mursi, from the
presidency in July following mass protests against his rule. The
authorities have declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group.
Hassan El Banna is accused of belonging to a terrorist
group, an apparent reference to the Brotherhood, and of
doctoring pictures to damage the image of security forces, a
judicial source said.
Banna was arrested on Saturday and ordered detained for 15
days pending investigations, two judicial sources said.
A security source said his movements had been monitored
before his arrest and that he had supplied Al Jazeera's Egyptian
channel with manipulated photographs, but was not an employee of
the channel. A judicial source said he was not a professional
photographer and did not officially work for Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera is funded by the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, which
was a strong backer of the Brotherhood. The network's ties with
Egypt have been strained since Mursi's ouster.
Critics accuse Egypt's army-backed government of widespread
human rights abuses and say it has undermined democratic gains
made since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in
The government says it is committed to democracy.
The Cairo offices of Al Jazeera have been closed since July
when they were raided by security forces.
Last month, Egypt's public prosecutor announced he would put
four journalists he said worked for Al Jazeera on trial on
charges of aiding members of a terrorist group.
The network has described the charges as absurd.
Three Al Jazeera journalists - Australian Peter Greste,
Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed -
were detained in Cairo on Dec. 29 and remain in custody, as does
a fourth journalist working for the network.
The man arrested on Saturday shares his name with the
founder of the Muslim Brotherhood who was assassinated in 1949,
but there was no suggestion that the two were related.
(Reporting By Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Rosalind Russell)