Monday, December 29, 2014His Excellency Sameh Shoukry Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Ministry of Foreign Affairs Masbero-Kornish El Nile St. Cairo, Egypt Dear Minister Shoukry, I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world. As of today, Al Jazeera English journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, have been unjustly detained in an Egyptian jail for one year. CJFE calls on the Egyptian government to free the three journalists and all other imprisoned journalists in Egypt, of which there are at least 12. While the journalists’ appeal is scheduled to be heard on January 1, 2015, they have already spent a year in prison on illegitimate and unfounded terrorism charges. As such, we urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to secure their long overdue freedom. President el-Sisi has repeatedly made promises to guarantee press freedom and freedom of expression in Egypt that have yet to be enshrined in government policy. In fact, the space for objective and critical reporting in Egypt has continued to shrink. The conviction of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed has also caused some journalists to censor themselves for fear that their reporting will be similarly interpreted and punished as terrorism. This is not only a violation of the right to free expression but is also inconsistent with Egypt’s democratic aspirations. CJFE urges the Egyptian government to release Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed. We further call on President el-Sisi to take concrete steps to guarantee the free expression rights of all people in Egypt, regardless of their political viewpoint. We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, Arnold Amber, CJFE President Cc: The Honourable John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Wael Aboul-Magd, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Canada
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