News / Middle East

Egypt Defends Itself at UN Over Jailing of Journalists

Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste looks out from the defendant's cage during a sentencing hearing in a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, June 23, 2014.
Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste looks out from the defendant's cage during a sentencing hearing in a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, June 23, 2014.
Reuters

Egypt defended its judicial system at the United Nations on Wednesday amid a global outcry over the jailing of al Jazeera journalists, telling diplomats and reporters that it respects the role of the media and does not consider journalism a crime.

Diplomats from more than 17 countries, including eight members of the U.N. Security Council, attended the meeting organized by the U.N. Correspondents Association to show solidarity with the three imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists.

Australian Peter Greste; Canadian-Egyptian national Mohamed Fahmy, Cairo bureau chief of Al Jazeera English; and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were jailed on Monday for seven years. All three denied the charge of working with the now banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The cases sparked global outrage. The United States called for the “chilling, Draconian sentences” to be reversed.

“The Egyptian judicial system is very well-known for providing full guarantees for the defendant,” Egypt's deputy U.N. Ambassador, Osama Abdelkhalek Mahmoud, told the meeting. “I have confidence that the due procedures will be followed and justice will be done in such cases and in all other cases.”

A social media campaign pushing for the release of the journalists uses the catchphrase “Journalism is not a crime.”

“We fully subscribe to this wording you have used - journalism is not a crime,” he said. “We have 1,200 foreign correspondents in Egypt working, none of them were harassed or annoyed ... We highly respect the role played by journalists.”

Deputy Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Robert Mahoney, said some 67 journalists had been detained in the Egypt since the government of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was toppled in July.

“A lot have been let out, but today as we speak there are 14 journalists in jail in Egypt, including the three Al Jazeera journalists,” he said. “That makes Egypt ... the biggest jailer of journalists in the Arab world, more than Syria.”

Newly elected Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday he would not interfere with judicial verdicts.

Former East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta told the meeting at the United Nations that he believed the situation could be resolved through creative diplomacy.

“Sometimes leaders like President Sisi of Egypt need some way out. They have given a message, their message is heard, now it's time to find a solution satisfactory to everybody,” he said.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George from: Europe
June 26, 2014 7:42 AM
Its banana republic country this egypt is. its shame that EU is working with this dictator sissi. it a shame

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid