Several images of billboards promoting Al Jazeera are back on the streets of Cairo and floating on social media.
After the 2013 coup, Egypt cracked down on news outlets that were critical of the military-led government, including crackdown on Al Jazeera and its journalists because the Doha-based television station accuses Cairo of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
My goodness. Al Jazeera’s billboards are back in Cairo. There are people who went to Egyptian prisons because they worked for Al Jazeera. Forgotten everything after the rapprochement between Egypt and Qatar. pic.twitter.com/hXotWKwOsQ
– The Great Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh) November 6, 2021
The station reported on the 2011 uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak and the events that led to the coup.
Egypt banned Al Jazeera Mubashir on the grounds that it did not have the necessary legal permits and accused it of “spreading lies and rumors that harm Egypt’s national unity and security”.
Several employees were arrested without charge, while Abdullah Al-Shami and Mohamed Bader were charged with “endangering national security” and “possessing weapons”.
Al-Jazeera Mubashir and Al-Jazeera Arabic offices were both searched and closed by security forces.
READ: Egypt puts female political prisoners in a cell with criminals, reports ENHR
Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein was recently arrested and detained for four years without formal charge or trial. Mahmoud was released in February this year, a month after Egypt agreed to resume diplomatic relations with Qatar.
In 2017, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar, accusing the Gulf state of supporting terrorism and calling on Doha to shut down Al Jazeera.
Direct flights between Qatar and Egypt ended three and a half years after the regional crisis, and Al Jazeera went live from the Egyptian capital for the first time in eight years.
Egyptian intelligence officials told Reuters that a Qatari foreign official had promised to change the direction of reporting on Al Jazeera, but this was denied by a Qatari official.
However, despite hopes that rapprochement would usher in a new era of freedom for journalists, Egypt continued to target the station.
Al Jazeera journalist Rabie Al-Sheikh was arrested at Cairo Airport in August while leaving a flight from Qatar.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Egypt is one of the largest prison inmates for journalists in the world and is on the World Press Freedom Index in 166 out of 180 countries.