There was a very worrying trend that was prevalent throughout 2014 which disturbed all human rights activists and sympathizers of our cause.
2014 was a year of mass attack on the Journalism profession. So many journalists in different countries faced terrible risks including death and imprisonment during the cause of their work. Most notable were the murder of James Foley by ISIS, and the shabby trial and unjust imprisonment of three Al Jazeera journalists which sparked the #FreeAJStaff protests and demonstrations.
The three Al Jazeera journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and
Baher Mohamed were unjustly arrested, falsely accused by the Egyptian Government of aiding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, unfairly tried and sentenced to 7 years, one of them was given a 10 year sentence. What was their true crime? They were just doing their jobs, except we want to agree that journalism is a crime! So, I join Al Jazeera media group, which has been doing a good job in uncovering stories that people and Governments would rather leave untold, to protest the imprisonment of their brave staff which have being held for a little over a year in Egypt now. The Egyptian Government should do the right thing and demonstrate their commitment to Freedom of speech and information. Egypt is now notorious for cracking down on opposition and obstructing free speech and information.
So, moving away from Egypt to the rest of the world, some journalists paid with their lives for doing their jobs.
These countries listed above plus many other like Russia, North Korea, Eriteria, Bahrain, China have Governments that are depriving their citizens of their rights to free speech and information.
I’ve always said that when people are deprived of information, power is taken from them because information is power. So, cracking down on the journalism profession is attempting to render people powerless, an attempt to control their lives without them having any say. We are in the 21st century, an era of democracy, and free speech and information is one of the main tenets of democracy.
JOURNALISM IS NOT A CRIME!!!
All Governments and international organizations must respect this!
Written By Olisa Lotenna