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Al Jazeera seeks US$150 million in damages from Egypt

The Al Jazeera Media Network has filed a dispute seeking US$150 million in compensation from Egypt in compensation for the damages it claims have been inflicted on its business by the country’s interim government.

The “notification of dispute” is based on a 1999 bilateral investment treaty between Egypt and Qatar, which promotes the protection of investments, Rapid TV News reports.

Al Jazeera says Egypt now has six months to settle the claim, or face an international tribunal. 

“In the months following the overthrow of the government of President Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian military, Al Jazeera’s journalists and staff have been subjected to a sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation,” the network said.

“The interim government’s actions have included ransacking and closure of Al Jazeera offices, confiscation of equipment, jamming of transmission and arbitrary detention of journalists. Its broadcast license has been revoked and its Cairo branch was subjected to compulsory liquidation of assets.

“Four Al Jazeera journalists remain in custody, and six have been tried in absentia,” Al Jazeera added.

The satellite television company has reportedly invested at least $90 million in Egypt since it started operations there in 2001. The $150 million claim would also cover anticipated future losses through the shut down of its Egyptian channel.