Businessman Ahmed Abu Hashima – Courtesy of his official Facebook page
CAIRO – 13 October 2019: Egyptian businessman Ahmed Abu Hashima denounced the arrest of two Egyptians in Qatar over charges of spying for Egypt and Saudi Arabia to help the piracy of Qatar's beIN Sports TV network.
Two Egyptians who have been working for state-funded Al-Jazeera network were arrested, according to Egyptian reports, as they were allegedly funded by Abu Hashima to help establish an Egyptian platform that is alternative to beIN Sports.
The accused Egyptians include Ali Salem, a director for the technical sector in beIN sports, which is a subsidiary of Al-Jazeera media network, and Waleed Abdel Aziz.
Abu Hashima, in an interview with TV presenter Amr Adib on Saturday, said the indictment of Ali Salem over espionage charges proves that Al-Jazeera network is a "military intelligence organization" rather than a commercial civilian one.
"I work in a professional manner and use the best human cadres in my job, and I knew that sports channels are the locomotive to promote the media system as a whole, and tried to provide a distinctive sports media service for the Egyptian people," Abu Hashima said, referring to ON Sport channel.
Abu Hashima called Engineer Ali Salem as one of the "most prominent Egyptian cadres," who was asked by the Egyptian TV to participate in the establishment of the sports channel linked to Al-Jazeera, saying that over 16 years of work, he became one of the most important cadres in the station.
An Egyptian-British legal team, along with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and a number of human rights organizations, will file lawsuits against Qatar and beiN Sports, to demand the release of the accused Egyptians.
"The dignity of the Egyptians abroad is part of the dignity of 100 million Egyptians," Abu Hashima said, calling the arrest of the two Egyptians as "manifest injustice."
Al-Jazeera aims to establish "political sports colonialism to influence Arab public opinion," he added,
Assuring the two Egyptian detainees in Qatar, Abu Hashima said that "the political leadership and all the state institutions and the Egyptian people are standing with you. Your dignity is part of our dignity. You have been subjected to a clear injustice despite your honorable history, and your right will not be wasted."