CAIRO: State-run daily Al-Ahram defended in an editorial Friday publishing a doctored photo of the Mideast peace talks, which put President Hosni Mubarak in the front, saying it was “illustrative.”
Last Tuesday, ahead of the second round the peace talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, the paper published doctored photo from the Washington talks earlier in the month. The original photo showed US President Barack Obama flanked two steps behind by the head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who were, in turn followed by President Mubarak on the left and King Abdullah on the right. The doctored photo, published by the state-run paper, showed Mubarak leading the pack.
Al-Ahram chief-editor Osama Saraya wrote in an editorial Friday that altering the image wasn’t meant to distort the truth but to illustrate the leading political role of Egypt’s president.
Explaining that the photo was published in its original format earlier in the month, Saraya stressed that the paper doesn’t lie or alter the truth. He accused his critics of violating the ethics of the profession by the pointing the change in the photo.
“The published photo is illustrative; so those who don’t understand could,” he wrote, saying the critics shouldn’t mislead others by “claiming to have uncovered a hoax. … They are the ones who mislead, who lie, and who believe themselves, then accuse us.”