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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 January 2007, 07:39 GMT
Egypt seizes al-Jazeera reporter
Doha, Qatar newsroom of al-Jazeera International
Al-Jazeera is one of the Middle East's most influential TV channels
A journalist working for Arabic TV news channel al-Jazeera has been arrested in Egypt for allegedly fabricating videos of police torturing suspects.

Huweida Taha Metwalli was stopped on her way to Qatar and 50 video tapes were found in her luggage, the Egyptian interior ministry said.

She is reportedly charged with "tarnishing Egypt's reputation and harming Egyptian national interests".

Al-Jazeera said the tapes showed a "documentary reconstruction" by actors.

Human rights groups say it is not unusual for suspects to be tortured in Egyptian police stations.

Video of police apparently sexually assaulting a man provoked outrage when it appeared on the web last year.

Al-Jazeera's representative in Egypt, Hussein Abdel-Ghani, said that reconstructing scenes with actors was "a well-known method in the production of documentaries and al-Jazeera is not the only network to talk about torture".

Last year, Egyptian man Imad Kabir was apparently filmed being sodomised with a stick in jail by police officers.
Still from Egypt 'torture' film
The graphic footage of Mr Kabir became public in November

His lawyer says the alleged assault came after he intervened in a dispute between a policeman and his cousin.

The incident happened in January 2006 in Cairo's Bulaq district, but the footage, apparently taken by one of the abusers, did not become public until November.

The case was taken up by Egyptian bloggers and members of the international human rights community.

Mr Kabir has since been imprisoned for three months in relation to the same incident for "resisting authority".




SEE ALSO
'Torture' victim jailed in Egypt
10 Jan 07 |  Middle East
Al-Jazeera's popularity and impact
01 Nov 06 |  Middle East

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