Al Jazeera Media Network has served Egypt with a $150m compensation claim on the grounds that its investments in the country have been damaged since July 2013.
On Monday, the network lodged a formal “notification of dispute” with the interim government of Egypt.
The “notification of dispute” is based on a 1999 bilateral investment treaty between Egypt and Qatar, which stipulates the mutual promotion and protection of investments.
If there is no settlement between Al Jazeera and the Egyptian authorities within six months, Al Jazeera said it would send the case to international arbitration.
Campaign of harassment
In the months following the overthrow of the government of former 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 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 Its broadcast license has been revoked and its Cairo branch was subjected to compulsory liquidation of assets.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.
According to the bilateral investment treaty signed between Doha and Cairo, investors from both sides should be afforded fair and equitable treatment by the governments of both countries.
As the treaty obliges Egypt to provide Al Jazeera’s investments with full protection and security, Al Jazeera considers the Egyptian authorities to be in violation of international law.