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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid