CJFE Newsletter: June 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dear CJFE members and supporters,

As you have likely heard, this week Egypt announced the devastating news that three Al Jazeera English journalists were found guilty of aiding the banned Muslin brotherhood and reporting false news in Egypt. Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste were sentenced to seven years in prison, while Baher Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years.

CJFE is outraged by this blatant attack on press freedom. From the start, the trial was plagued with corruption, and was void of any substantive evidence. The verdict was met with universal outrage from news outlets, journalists, NGOs and governments.

TAKE ACTION: Write a letter imploring the Canadian government to pressure Egypt to free the three journalists, and sign our petition calling for their release.

Although the Al Jazeera case is our primary focus at the moment, June been a busy month for us here at CJFE from start to finish (as always). So before you set off for a holiday weekend, we wanted to give you a few updates on what we have been working on, and perhaps provide you some Canada Day reading.

What CJFE has been working on in June

  • Should Surveillance Scare You? Eight things you need to know: Privacy and surveillance experts Christopher Parsons and Wesley Wark sat down with Michelle Shephard for an engaging discussion on government surveillance in Canada. Check out our live blog and photo gallery of the event.
  • Anonymity protection in Canada: In a landmark case this month, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously in favour of protecting your online privacy.
  • U of Toronto PhD student arrested in Tajikistan: Last week Alexander Sodiqov was arrested in Tajikistan on grounds of “subversion and espionage.” CJFE continues to monitor the case.
  • Ukraine in the wake of EuroMaidan: International Media Support (IMS)provides an on-the-ground understanding of what the recent attacks on the press mean for free expression.
  • Peru’s climate of silence: Recent events in the country have put press freedom in peril.
  • Interview with exiled Kurdish journalist: Goran Dukani, a recipient of CJFE’s Journalists in Distress Fund now living in the United States, shares his incredible story with CJFE.
  • Burundi rights defender arrested: Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa was arrested earlier this month on the dubious charge of spreading false rumours in relation to comments he made over the radio.
  • Another intern farewell: Stephanie Schoenhoff, CJFE’s Research and Communications Intern, wrapped up her time with CJFE with some concluding thoughts on her experience.

    What’s coming up for CJFE in July

  • Cuba: We’ll be looking at alternative news media and suppression of free expression.
  • Should Surveillance Scare You Video: A highlight video from this month’s panel discussion will be up on CJFE.org soon.
  • #FreeAJStaff: We will continue to campaign for the release of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, and hope you will do the same. Please continue to check our website in the coming weeks for more information.

    Thanks for reading and hope you have a safe and relaxing long weekend.

    Diane Shnier, CJFE Outreach and Communications Assistant