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Posts Tagged ‘Mohamed Fahmy’

Egypt’s President Wishes Al Jazeera Journalists Were Never Put on Trial

al jazeera journalists 304For the first time, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has expressed that the trial of three Al Jazeera journalists has had a negative effect on his country, going as far as saying he wishes they weren’t put on trial, the AP reports.

The comments by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to editors of Egyptian media outlets were published late Sunday. They were the first public recognition by Egyptian officials that the case had been damaging to the country’s relations with the international community.

In his remarks published Sunday, he said the case represented one of the foreign policy challenges facing Egypt, but stopped short of saying whether he will issue a clemency. He seemed to be refuting claims that the case is politically motivated, and a reflection of the tension between Egypt and Qatar, the Gulf state that owns the television network. “The verdict issued against a number of journalists had very negative consequences; and we had nothing to do with it,” el-Sissi said, suggesting it was an entirely legal matter. “I wished they were deported immediately after their arrest instead of being put on trial.”

Two weeks ago, the three journalists were found guilty of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood and sentenced to years in an Egyptian prison. Last week, one of the jailed journalists, Mohamed Fahmy, tweeted he won’t appeal the court’s decision.

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Jailed Al Jazeera Journalist Won’t Appeal

Mohamed Fahmy, the jailed Al Jazeera journalist, won’t appeal his conviction. Fahmy is one of three journalists from the Qatar-based channel found guilty last week of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Today, with the help of his brother, Fahmy tweeted that an appeal would be futile.

Whether he changes his mind or not, the Egyptian judge in Fahmy’s case hasn’t yet filed the guilty verdict, a step needed for the appeals process to begin.

Fahmy also claimed he was being scapegoated.

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Al Jazeera’s Tony Harris on ‘Unconscionable’ Imprisonment of Colleagues Who Guided Him

Press Freedom

Al Jazeera executives and anchors, global diplomats, and several members of the media gathered this afternoon at the United Nations for a town hall on press freedom. There were also three chairs left empty (pictured above), symbolically held for Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed, and Mohamed Fahmy who were found guilty Monday in a courtroom outside Cairo.

“These people were amazing in terms of their knowledge, and their willingness to share what they knew about the region with an American who was coming to the Middle East to learn and report on what was happening,” Al Jazeera America anchor Tony Harris told TVNewser at the event. Harris, a former CNN anchor, met the journalists several years ago when he began anchoring for Al Jazeera English.

“The idea that these guys would be imprisoned right now, essentially fighting for their reputations, fighting for their lives, is just unconscionable to me.”

Egyptian U.N. diplomat Osama Abdelkhalek Mahmoud spoke at the event, but declined to comment on the case, citing Egypt’s constitution. (Egypt’s new president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has also said he will not interfere in the ruling.) Read more

Journalists Worldwide Protest Egypt’s Al Jazeera Verdict

Journalists around the world are standing in solidarity with three Al Jazeera journalists who were sentenced yesterday to seven to 10 years in prison. The Huffington Post has posted a collection of tweets showing support for Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, including this one from the BBC:

The Obama administration has released a statement that reads in part, “The United States strongly condemns the verdicts rendered against three Al-Jazeera journalists and 15 other defendants today in Egypt. The prosecution of journalists for reporting information that does not coincide with the Government of Egypt’s narrative flouts the most basic standards of media freedom and represents a blow to democratic progress in Egypt.”

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the president of Egypt, said he will not interfere in the case’s ruling.

Jailed Al Jazeera Journalists Convicted in Egypt

detained al jazeera journalistsSix months after their arrest in Egypt, three Al Jazeera journalists have been found guilty of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, the network reports:

The guilty verdicts were delivered by a judge on Monday against Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed. Greste and Fahmy were sentenced to seven years in jail, while Mohamed was sentenced to an additional three years for possession of ammunition.

Other Al Jazeera journalists being tried in absentia were sentenced to 10 years. Their names are: Alaa Bayoumi, Anas Abdel-Wahab Khalawi Hasan, Khaleel Aly Khaleel Bahnasy, Mohamed Fawzi, Dominic Kane and Sue Turton.

Al Jazeera has always rejected the charges against its journalists and maintains their innocence.

In a statement, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue to be kept behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. ‘Guilty’ of covering stories with great skill and integrity. ‘Guilty’ of defending people’s right to know what is going on in their world.  Read more

Verdict Date Set in Al Jazeera Journalists’ Trial

detained al jazeera journalistsReuters reports the verdict in the trial of three imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists will be announced on June 23.

As the court announced the verdict date today, the journalists’ defense lawyers reiterated that this “trial is not a trial for these defendants alone – but a trial of all journalists.”

As the journalists’ defense lawyers made their closing arguments a little over a week ago, Fahmy shouted from his cage: “You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty…in this situation, we are guilty the second you are arrested, treated worse than criminals, rapists, and killers.”

“On the balance of arguments, Al Jazeera hopes the judge will take into consideration the facts presented to him and acquit Peter, Baher and Mohammed of any wrong doing,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said in a statement. “On June 23rd, the entire world will be watching Egypt to see whether they uphold the values of press freedom.”

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed have been imprisoned in Egypt since the end of last year, charged with aiding the Muslim Brotherhood.

Imprisoned Al Jazeera Journalist Shouts From Cage: ‘This is About a Free Press’

FahmyOn the same day lawyers for three imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists made their closing arguments, one of those journalists, Mohamed Fahmy, shouted from his cage.

“You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” Fahmy yelled yesterday during a courtroom recess. “In this situation, we are guilty the second you are arrested, treated worse than criminals, rapists, and killers.”

He also expressed what he thinks this trial is really about. “This is about free press. Democracy and free press. They don’t believe in free press.”

The three Al Jazeera journalists’ trial is adjourned until June 16. Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Peter Greste have been held in Egypt since the end of last year.

WATCH:

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Imprisoned Al Jazeera Journalist: ‘The Prosecutors Should be in the Cage’

The trial of three Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt was adjourned again yesterday. Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed, who have been in jail for 156 days on charges of aiding a terrorist group, were returned to their cells after a brief hearing.

“Members of the technical committee could not recall one example of what they believed was fabricated coverage from the Al Jazeera team. They also could not proffer an opinion on how national security of Egypt was endangered either,” Al Jazeera reports of the proceedings.

A fourth Al Jazeera journalist, Abdullah Elshamy, has been held since last August. He has been on a hunger strike since January.

Al Jazeera continues to reject the charges against the journalists and call for their release. [h/t HuffPo Media]

Questionable Photo, Australian Song Presented as Evidence Against Al Jazeera Journalists

In their ninth court appearance since being imprisoned in Egypt in December, Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed had a new string of questionable evidence presented against them by prosecutors.

A photo showing Fahmy standing behind former Egyptian military chief Mohamed Hussein Tantawi was presented, but didn’t pass the eye test among court reporters.

Other audio and video evidence presented was said to have been uncovered from Greste’s possessions, which the Australian journalist denied. One piece of evidence, oddly enough, was a song by Australian musician Gotye; other evidence shown were recordings of conversations between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and protest photos against former Egyptian army commander, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The journalists have been jailed for nearly 5 months.

Al Jazeera Journalists Mark 100 Days in Jail

detained al jazeera journalistsAs Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed mark 100 days in jail in Egypt, Al Jazeera is renewing calls for the immediate release of the journalists.

Calling the charges “false and baseless,” Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said there is “no justification whatsoever in the detention of innocent journalists for such an outrageous amount of time.” He also called for the release of Abdullah Al Shamy, an Al Jazeera Arabic journalist who has been held for 236 days and has been a hunger strike since January 23.

“We are very grateful for the immense support of our staff, from right around the world. The response to their detention has been outstanding,” Anstey said in a statement. “The campaign is focused on the release of our four staff, but is fundamentally a stand in the defence of journalism itself, and a call for people everywhere to have a right to be heard and the right to know what is really going on in their world.”

In London, a crowd gathered outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in support of the detained journalists.  Read more

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