Al Jazeera Journalists on Trial in Egypt Spend 100 Days in Prison
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | April 8, 2014 11:37 AM EST
Al Jazeera journalists who have been facing terrorism-related charges in Egypt now complete 100 days in jail. There are two Canadian-Egyptian journalists, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohammad, while there is one Australian journalist, Peter Greste, who face the trial.
REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newsp
Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste of Australia stands in a metal cage during his trial in a court in Cairo March 24, 2014. Greste is one of several Al Jazeera journalists Egypt put on trial on charges of aiding members of a "terrorist organisation", in a case that human rights groups say shows the authorities are trampling on freedom of expression.
On Monday, April 7, Al Jazeera asked the international community to stand by its demand to release the journalists. People can show their support by expressing their views on social media with the hashtag #FreeAJStaff.
Another journalist from the network, Abdullah al-Shami, is also held for over six months in Egypt. He has been on a hunger strike since January 23, Al Jazeera reported. Mr al-Shami's detention has further been extended on March 13 for 45 days more. The news network, meanwhile, has been quite articulate about its claim that its journalists are not guilty of any of the charges they are facing. Al Jazeera, arguably the most influential network that covers the on-going political crisis in Egypt and Middle-East, has demanded that its journalists should be immediately released.
Egyptian officials arrested Mohamed Badr, another journalist from the network, on July 15, 2013. He was released on Feb 4, 2014. He was declared "not guilty" of any of the charges previously held against him. The charges included involvement in the Ramses Square protest in Cairo. In the meantime, Mr Fahmy's family was "fed up" with the "ridiculous" charges held against him, CTV News reported.
Al Jazeera English Managing Director Al Anstey said that the journalists were behind bars for 100 days in Egypt only for "doing their job." He also said that their offence was carrying out journalism of the "highest quality/" Mr Anstey said that the charges against Al Jazeera journalists were baseless and false. He demanded the release of the three Al Jazeera English journalists. In addition, he also demanded release for Mr al-Shami, the Al Jazeera Arabic journalist who had been in jail for 236 days.
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