Egyptian newspaper criticised over doctored peace talks photo
Published 16/09/2010 | 11:26
Egypt's state-run newspaper has been criticised after it altered a photograph to suggest President Hosni Mubarak was leading the Middle East peace talks.
The photograph, which appeared in Al-Ahram, the country’s most widely circulated newspaper, showed Mr Mubarak walking on a red carpet ahead of the US, Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders.
The original image shows Barack Obama leading the way ahead of the three other leaders, with Mr Mubarak trailing behind.
The photograph was taken at the White House when talks were formally re-launched on September 1.
The doctored image appeared above an article called The Way to Sharm el-Sheikh on page six of al-Ahram on Tuesday September 14.
The opposition 6 April Youth Movement called the newspaper "unprofessional" for publishing the manipulated image.
In a statement on its website it said: "This is what the corrupt regime's media has been reduced to."
It added the newspaper had "crossed the line from being balanced and honest".
Al-Masry al-Youm, the independent daily newspaper, said Al-Ahram had "carried out surgery" on the photo "to show Mubarak leading and the rest behind".
Al-Ahram has since replaced the image on its website with a picture of the assembled leaders seated on chairs in the Red Sea resort.
Officials at the paper could not be reached for comment.
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, travelled to Egypt to mediate the second round of negotiations between Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, his Palestinian counterpart earlier this week.
The two-day discussions represented the beginning of the serious phase of the peace talks after the largely ceremonial launch at the White House a fortnight ago.