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Al Jazeera Staff, Egypt - Jailed since December 2013

Al Jazeera Staff, Egypt - Jailed since December 2013

Article ID:

17627

Day 6
Country:
Egypt
Journalists:
Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Baher Mohamed
Media:
Al Jazeera English
Jailed since:
December 29, 2013

Suggested Tweet:

#FreethePress calls for release of #AlJazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed tinyurl.com/qjxyn5z #FreeAJStaff


For more than 100 days, Al Jazeera English journalist Peter Greste, Cairo Bureau Chief Mohamed Fahmy, and producer Baher Mohamed have languished in an Egyptian jail. On December 29th, Greste and Fahmy were apprehended from their central Cairo hotel suite, which the network had been using as a newsroom since police ransacked its offices last August. Mohamed was arrested at his home shortly after. The three have been charged with "spreading false news" and "aiding a terrorist organisation" – namely the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

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Appearing before a Cairo court in a caged dock on three occasions, their high profile case has become just one of many that are now emblematic of Egypt's deteriorating justice system, and has elicited worldwide protest from rights groups and activists. In their last court appearance on March 31st, Greste told the judge that with barely any knowledge of Arabic, and having only spent two weeks in Egypt before his arrest, “any association with the Muslim Brotherhood is frankly preposterous.” Fahmy also added that he was personally opposed to the Brotherhood and took part in marches last June demanding Morsi step down as president. Their case has been adjourned until April 10th.

Originally from Australia, Greste left his native country in 1991 to pursue his dream of becoming a foreign correspondent. In 1995, he was the Kabul correspondent for the BBC covering the emergence of the Taliban, and later returned after the September 11th attacks in 2001 to cover the war. He also worked across the Middle East, Central Asia and Latin America. For the past nine years, he has worked across the Horn of Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and the Great Lakes as a correspondent for Al Jazeera.

Hired as the Cairo bureau chief in September, Fahmy is a veteran of various international news organisations, including as a producer for CNN and a reporting assistant for The New York Times. Fahmy has also authored books about the Iraq war and Egypt's 2011 uprising. He is a dual national of Egypt and Canada.

Mohamed, an Egyptian producer for Al Jazeera, previously worked for a Japanese news organisation.

A fourth Al Jazeera journalist, Abdullah al-Shami, has been held in Egypt for more than six months and has been on a hunger strike since January 21. A court extended his detention for an additional 45 days on March 13.

The arrest of Al Jazeera staff is part of a widespread crackdown on dissent in Egypt as the military-installed authorities continue to adopt a hard-line approach to journalism that carries similar hallmarks to the media repression witnessed during Hosni Mubarak's rule. In the past year, Egypt has become the third-deadliest terrain for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. On March 28th, reporter Mayada Ashraf with the daily Al-Dustour was fatally shot in Cairo while covering violent clashes. At least four other journalists have been killed during demonstrations since the military overthrew former President Morsi at the beginning of July 2013, while at least four additional journalists are currently in jail.


Suggested Tweet:

#FreethePress calls for release of #AlJazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed tinyurl.com/qjxyn5z #FreeAJStaff


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Author

wm_WanIfra

Date

2014-04-08 23:01

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