UAE daily slams Qatar fighter jet intercept of Emirates passenger flights

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Doha denies that its military aircraft intercepted two Emirates passenger jets (AFP)
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Bahrain flight tracker that appears to show the moment Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirates airline on Monday
Updated 17 January 2018
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UAE daily slams Qatar fighter jet intercept of Emirates passenger flights

DUBAI: The interception of two Emirates airliners not only endangered the lives of hundreds of people, but also represented a “very serious escalation” by the Qatari government – UAE daily Gulf News has said in a hard-hitting editorial that accuses Doha of "crossing a red line."
The newspaper was responding to two incidents on Monday where Emirates airline passenger jets traveling to Bahrain were intercepted by Qatar fighter planes.
The article said Qatar’s “wilful and deliberate” use of its fighter jets on civilian aircraft in international airspace showed the country to be an “active participant in terrorizing those on board the two civilian flights,” adding: “Clearly, Qatar has no interest in resolving this dispute, has no regard for the safety of air passengers, and has upped the ante in the most dangerous and deliberate fashion. That has been duly noted by all.”
Doha has denied that the incidents happened, but on Tuesday Bahrain’s Civil Aviation Authority released video footage of the tracking of one of the incidents.
Questioning Doha’s denial, the editorial said the incidents were witnessed both by passengers and crew onboard the flights – as well as air traffic controllers at Manama airport who saw the interceptions “unfold on their radar screens.”
“This incident represents a very serious escalation by the Qatari government, and that it is now willing to endanger the lives of some 400 persons on two civilian aircraft speaks to its recklessness,” the editorial stated.
The article went on to explain that the flights were using a popular “air corridor into Bahrain” that was used regularly each day.
“It is an incident that jeopardized the safety of the planes and passengers, and it is a blatant and unacceptable action that has been reported to authorities at the highest level responsible for civilian aircraft movement and safety,” the comment piece added.
The incidents were just the latest in the ongoing standoff that started in June 2017 when the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar amid claims that the small gas-rich nation supported extremists – it is an allegation Doha denies. The four nations later agreed to ban Qatar from using their airspace.


Egyptian military court sentences journalist to 10 years

Updated 24 May 2018
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Egyptian military court sentences journalist to 10 years

CAIRO: An Egyptian military court has sentenced a freelance journalist who reported on the Sinai insurgency to 10 years in prison on terror-related charges.
The Cairo military court on Tuesday convicted Ismail Alexandrani of spreading false news and joining an outlawed group, without identifying it. The verdict can be appealed.
Alexandrani was detained in 2015 upon his return to Egypt after delivering a presentation on Sinai militancy in Berlin. He worked for several news outlets in Egypt.
Egypt has heavily restricted media access to the northern Sinai, where it has struggled to combat a Daesh-led insurgency that has carried out attacks across the country.
Egyptian authorities have jailed several journalists as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent, and have passed vague laws criminalizing the dissemination of “false news.”