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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Greste’

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

Imprisoned Al Jazeera Journalists Ask Judge for Release

al jazeera jailed journalistsThe three Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt since the end of last year directly asked the judge to release them today, the Associated Press reports.

The journalists, Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, and Baher Mohammed, strongly denied any ties to terrorism during a plea to the judge.

“The idea that I could have an association with the Muslim Brotherhood is frankly preposterous,” Greste told the judge, Mohammed Nagi Shehata. He added that he was an award-winning journalist with years of experience.

“I ask for acquittal,” demanded Fahmy, denying accusations that he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He told the judge he was an alcohol-drinking liberal who lived abroad for a long time, and added: “Have you ever heard of a (Muslim) terrorist that drinks alcohol?”

The judge did not accept their plea, adjourning the case until April 10.

CNN Correspondent Reports For Al Jazeera, Because AJ Reporters Aren’t Allowed To

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You don’t see this very often. A CNN correspondent reported for Al Jazeera in Cairo earlier this week, because Al Jazeera reporters can’t. Ian Lee, who was in Kiev earlier this month for CNN (above, right), is in Cairo this week (above, left) covering the trial of Peter Greste, who, along with other Al Jazeera journalists, is accused of endangering national security and aiding a terrorist organization.

“Let’s go to Ian Lee outside the courthouse in Cairo. He’s a correspondent with CNN and reporting on our behalf because Al Jazeera journalists are banned from reporting from Egypt,” said the Al Jazeera anchor.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to report as the trial was postponed. Greste along with Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed, who have been held in a Cairo for 88 days, will be back in court Monday.

Interim Egyptian President Says He Will Expedite Al Jazeera Trial

peter gresteIn a letter to the parents of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour pledged to “spare no effort to work towards the speedy resolution of the case,” the Associated Press reports:

Peter Greste, detained with three other Al-Jazeera English journalists, stands accused of endangering national security and aiding a terrorist organization for his work with the Qatar-based broadcaster.

“I would like to assure you . . . that I will spare no effort to work toward the speedy resolution of the case, in a fashion consistent with the law and that guarantees the reunion of the family in the near future,” Adly Mansour said in the letter, which was seen by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Greste’s trial is set to resume next week. Al Jazeera says the letter “recognises what we’ve been saying all along – that our journalists were doing their job and have no case to answer.”

Imprisoned Al Jazeera Journalists Trial Adjourned Until March 24

The three Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt since the end of last year have had their trial adjourned until March 24.

“We are again disappointed that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed were not released from prison today,” Managing Director of Al Jazeera Engligh Al Anstey said. “The trial in Egypt is a trial of journalism itself, so we remain resolute in calling for freedom of speech, for the right for people to know, and for the immediate release of all of Al Jazeera’s journalists in detention in Egypt”.

This twitter picture sent out by Al Jazeera shows the journalists caged during their trial.

Last week, rallies were held in more than 30 cities to show support for the imprisoned journalists and call for their release.

Al Jazeera Launches Global Day of Action to Free Staffers Jailed in Egypt

al jazeera global day of actionRallies are planned in more than 30 cities today as part of Al Jazeera’s Global Day of Action in solidarity with Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed, its journalists jailed in Egypt.

Al Jazeera America is collecting images from demonstrations around the world and posting them to a live blog. Heather Allan, the head of newsgathering for the network, is also participating in a Reddit Ask Me Anything Q+A about the #FreeAJStaff campaign today.

“Today we invite every believer of free journalism to show solidarity and support for journalists who have been detained, mistreated or stifled in Egypt and elsewhere,” Al Jazeera America interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi wrote in a note to AJAM staff this morning.

Many media outlets around the world have joined the cause: last week, an international group of television executives called for the journalists’ release. The protests are also getting coverage on other networks: on “CBS This Morning” today, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported from London, where protestors in Trafalgar Square released black balloons into the sky as part of the demonstration.

“We are grateful for the support we have been receiving from across the world, from within the journalism profession, and from NGOs, politicians and members of the public,” Shihabi wrote. “The message that these detentions are unjustified is loud and clear.”

Al Jazeera Calls For Global Day of Action in Support of Jailed Journalists

al jazeera jailed journalistsAl Jazeera is calling for a global day of action next week in support of its journalists jailed in Egypt. The trial of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed has been adjourned until March 5 after they pleaded not guilty to all charges against them. In a statement, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey says the network is “deeply disappointed” the journalists were not released:

The charges against our staff are baseless, unacceptable, and wholly unjustified.  What is going in in in Egypt right now is a trial of journalism itself, so it is critical that we remain resolute in calling for freedom of speech, for the right for people to know, and for the immediate release of all of Al Jazeera’s journalists in detention in Egypt.

We truly appreciate the solidarity from journalists and individuals right around the world. The pressure has continued to build since they were taken into custody. We must keep this up, so we ask everyone to contribute to the Global Day of Action on Thursday 27th February. Journalism is not a crime.

The Global Day of Action comes after an international group of news organizations, including NBC, ABC and the BBC, called for the release of the journalists.

International Group of News Organizations Calls For Release of Al Jazeera Journalists

peter gresteAn international group of high-profile news executives — including NBC News president Deborah Turness, ABC News managing editor of international news Jon Williams and BBC director of news James Harding — have penned an open letter calling for the release of Peter Greste and other Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt.

The group, which also includes BBC deputy director of news Fran Unsworth, ITN chief executive John Hardie, Reuters global editor John Pullman and Sky head of news John Ryley, writes “the Egyptian authorities are profoundly mistaken in their actions”:

Whatever the local conditions, a fundamental principle of any country should be freedom of speech – the existence of critical voices that can test the mettle of a system. As history shows, that’s vital. So we think Egypt’s move is deeply damaging to the future of impartial journalism in the country and that its actions are unjust, and unacceptable.

A hard-working, honourable journalist, with a track record of achievement, has been put in jail, awaiting trial, for honestly practising his trade. So we would like to add our voices to those that have called for his release, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Peter Greste and his colleagues should be set free so that they can continue with the kind of impartial, balanced reporting he has so eloquently defended from his prison cell.

The International Ticker: Charged, Expelled, (Un)Covered

  • Egyptian authorities says TV journalists should not fear reporting in the country following criminal charges filed against 20 Al Jazeera journalists. Among those facing charges of broadcasting false reports is Mohamed Fahmy, who previously worked for CNN.

  • China has forced New York Times reporter Austin Ramzy to leave the country.  Ramzy joins reporters from Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post and Reuters who have also been barred from reporting in China.

  • Among some of the international media covering the Super Bowl in New York/New Jersey this week: a Czech TV reporter who dressed like Mozart and a Mexican TV reporter who wasn’t dressed in much of anything. Czech it out

Jailed Al Jazeera Journalist Details Prison Conditions in Letter

peter gresteAl Jazeera has published a letter from correspondent Peter Greste, who is one of three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt and accused of spreading lies harmful to state security and joining a terrorist group.

Greste, who was arrested along with colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed on December 29, writes that he chose to speak out because remaining silent “validates an attack not just on me and my two colleagues but on freedom of speech across Egypt.”

I am in Tora prison – a sprawling complex in the south of the city where the authorities routinely violate legally enshrined prisoners’ rights, denying visits from lawyers, keeping cells locked for 20 hours a day (and 24 hours on public holidays) and so on. But even that is relatively benign compared to the conditions my colleagues are being held in.

Fahmy and Baher have been accused of being Muslim Brotherhood members, So they are being held in the far more draconian “Scorpion prison” built for convicted terrorists.  Read more

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