Thursday, February 12, 2015
Urges Egypt to drop all charges and release other journalists still imprisoned
Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy raises an Egyptian national flag while talking to the judge during his retrial at a court in Cairo February 12, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
Toronto, ON —Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) was heartened by this morning’s announcement that an Egyptian court has ordered imprisoned journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed to be released on bail pending the resumption of their retrial.
However, CJFE further calls for the Egyptian government to drop all charges against the two journalists and ensure their unconditional freedom. After spending over 400 days in prison, the end to their imprisonment is long overdue, as is their reunion with their families.
The journalists’ release on bail closely follows the release of their Australian colleague Peter Greste, who was deported to Australia on February 1. The retrial of Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed will resume February 23.
“We are heartened knowing that the two journalists will soon be able to be reunited with their families,” says CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer. “However, we continue to call for the charges against these journalists to be dropped unconditionally and for them to walk free.”
While CJFE celebrates the journalists’ release until their retrial resumes, the very idea of them being further prosecuted on these charges is unacceptable. We also cannot forget the more than 50 other journalists who continue to be unjustly detained in Egypt, many without charge.
CJFE urges the Canadian government to continue to advocate for Mohamed Fahmy’s release at the highest levels of the Egyptian government. Until both journalists are free and all charges against them are dropped, the campaign to #FreeAJstaff must continue.
For more information about the detention of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, and the #FreeAJstaff campaign, visit cjfe.org/freeajstaff.
CJFE monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, we promote a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others' free expression rights. cjfe.org
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