News / Middle East

Journalists Demand Release of Colleagues Detained in Egypt

Journalists Demand Release of Colleagues Detained in Egypti
X
February 28, 2014 5:34 AM
Journalists around the world are expressing outrage at Egyptian authorities for detaining several journalists and charging them with terrorist activities. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Zlatica Hoke
Journalists around the world are expressing outrage at Egyptian authorities for detaining several journalists and charging them with terrorist activities. Protests of solidarity with the detained Canadian, Australian and Egyptian reporters have taken place in many Western countries, but also in places like Gaza, Mauritania and Yemen. The United States has urged Egypt to release all detained journalists. 
 
Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were detained on December 29 while reporting on unrest in Cairo for Qatari-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera. Egyptian authorities have accused them of belonging to and aiding a terrorist organization. Outraged colleagues see it as an attack on journalism as a profession. Andrew Thomas, an Al-Jazeera reporter in Sydney, Australia, said the charges are a threat to journalists everywhere.
 
"This, then, is not an assault  on three men. It's an assault on journalism as a whole, and as our T-shirts say, as this banner says, journalism is not a crime," said Thomas.
 
Egyptian authorities said the journalists were arrested as part of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that supports ousted president Mohammed Morsi. The group staged massive protests seeking Morsi's return to power, before the new government sent armed forces to disperse protesters. 
 
Namik Kocak, a representative of the Turkish media, said journalists often are considered a threat.
 
"Journalists are seen as taking sides whereas we don't.  We're on the streets to deliver news to people in an independent way. In this regard journalism is dangerous. There are people risking their lives, their health," said Kocak.
 
Al-Jazeera has called for worldwide support for its push to obtain the journalists' release. The head of Al-Jazeera's public relations, Ossama Al Saeed, said the response has been overwhelming.
 
"What we've been seeing over a number of weeks has been massive support around the world for our journalists to be freed by the Egyptian authorities, and there's a further ramp up today. There is action taking place in over 30 countries," said Al Saeed.
 
The United States has repeatedly urged governments to protect journalists and punish those who harm them. White House spokesman Jay Carney called on Cairo to release all detained journalists.
 
"We remain deeply concerned about the ongoing lack of freedom of expression and press freedoms in Egypt. The government's targeting of journalists and others on questionable claims is wrong and it demonstrates an egregious disregard for the protection of basic rights and freedoms. All journalists, regardless of affiliation, must not be targets of violence, intimidation or politicized legal action," said Carney.
 
Rights groups say journalism is one of the world's most dangerous professions.  According to the advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 70 media members were killed last year, most of them in Syria. In addition to those killed in armed conflicts, journalists have been persecuted, harassed, tortured and even killed for writing critical articles about people and institutions in power.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid