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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs