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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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 Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid