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Al-Jazeera Journalists detained in Egypt

Aug 8, 2014 News , , , , , , 0 Comments

Al-Jazeera Journalists detained in Egypt

by La Shawn Pagán

With news of the downing of Malaysian Flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine and the on-going

battle for land in the Gaza strip flooding most of media outlets around the globe – three journalists

have been detained in Egypt since June 23 and barely anyone is talking about it.

Peter Greste from Australia, Mohamed Adel Fahmy a Canadian-Egyptian, and Egyptian Baher

Mohamed, all Al-Jazeera staff members – have been detained once again by Egyptian authorities.

This time under allegations of being affiliated with a terrorist organization that goes by the name of

the Muslim Brotherhood. Among the charges, they are being held for allegedly disseminating false

reports and defaming the reputation of Egypt.

However, this isn’t the first time Al-Jazeera journalists have been detained since the overthrow

of President Mursi’s rule. On December 29, 2013 Greste, Fahmy, and Mohamed were arrested

along with six other Al-Jazeera Staff members and held for months, but were released after the

international community came together to release them under the United Nations Freedom of

the Press Act. Once the word got out that journalists were being tortured for doing their jobs,

the international community came together to free them. It was only a matter of weeks before

#FreeAJStaff was trending on social media sites, putting pressure on Egyptian government – which

they did. Still, it wasn’t long before the persecution of media outlets began in Egypt once more.

According to Reporters without Borders, at least 65 journalists have been detained, with many more

being censored and other media outlets forcibly being closed by Egyptian authorities.

According to the petition that Reporters without Borders has been signed by 3,317 as of this report

– six journalists have been killed with complete impunity towards the perpetrators. Furthermore, the

organization which was founded in 1985 by journalists to not only spread the word about the right

of media freedom, but also offers psychological assistance to those who are assigned to dangerous

areas, reports that there is a constant persecution of journalists since the start of the Egyptian

revolution back in July 2011.

According to reports from The Guardian UK, the journalists have been sentenced between seven to

ten years on charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security.

“Today we wish to announce we intend to appeal the verdict through the formal channels offered by

the Egyptian legal system,” Mike Greste, the younger brother of the award-winning journalist Peter

Greste said to reporters in Brisbane after the sentencing was carried out.

“At least part of our strength comes from the understanding that this isn’t just about those wrongly

convicted in our case. This is about press freedom, about freedom of speech, not just in Egypt, but

globally,” Greste wrote in a statement released to the press.

“If the authorities in Egypt can ride out the storm then others can too. Gratifyingly the world seems

to be behind us.”

Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire

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