Yvonne Ridley has won her case for unfair dismissal against Qatari news site Al-Jazeera.net.

Ms Ridley was sacked from her role as senior editor on the English-language news site in November 2003 with no notice and with no reason.

Three weeks after her dismissal, Al-Jazeera told Ms Ridley's lawyer that she was a 'threat to national security' - a charge which carries the death penalty in Qatar.

Ms Ridley had been an outspoken opponent of the war at a time when Al-Jazeera was rumoured to be under increasing pressure from the US government - which described the site as 'violently anti-coalition'. She had also helped to form a branch of the UK's National Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the Dohar-based broadcaster.

"What's really ironic is that I was trying to lift the standard of journalism and improve the pay and working conditions of journalists at Al-Jazeera," said Ms Ridley.

"But I still have great affection for Al-Jazeera. A lot of good people work there on both the English and Arab side, and the TV is still the best thing to have happened to Arab broadcasting in many years."

A court in Qatar ruled in Ms Ridley's favour in February. Lawyers are still wrangling over compensation after Ms Ridley's lawyers rejected an offer from Al-Jazeera of around £10,000. A decision is expected in May.

Yvonne Ridley now presents a news and current affairs show for London-based satellite broadcaster the Islam Channel, available live on the station's website.

She also writes a column for US title Muslims Weekly and her new book on Osama Bin Laden is due out in Spring 2006.

More news from dotJournalism:
Union law change boosts Ridley action
Arab news site under fire over employment practices
Al-Jazeera's own goal
UK union opens Middle East branch
Q&A: Yvonne Ridley, Al-Jazeera.net

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