I’m so sad that I still have to talk about the three Al Jazeera journalists that have been held in Egypt for over a year. They were falsely accused of collaborating with terrorists, arrested, shabbily tried and sentenced prison.
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. Peter Gretse was deported to his home country, Australia before the re-trial, after getting a ‘presidential pardon’ but his colleagues have been left in Egypt’s jails.
I have written severally about the plight of these journalists, highlighting the fact that Egypt is intolerant to any form of journalism they consider ‘unfavourable’. I even joined the #FreeAJStaff #JournalismIsNotACrime campaigns.
Now, I am back to writing about these journalists again because after the retrial which is also considered to he shabby, the journalists have been sentenced to three years in prison with one of them having an extra six months for having been found with a dead bullet.
These judgement has been widely condemned by Al Jazeera and many human rights activists due to the fact that the verdict is seen as ‘politically motivated’ since there was no concrete evidence.
This is obviously an attack on freedom of speech and on journalism and I condemn it strongly.
I also want to highlight the fact that these three Al Jazeera journalists’ work for a very big and respected News Network. What of the hundreds others who do not work for such networks? Many other journalists who have been illegally arrested and subjected to such inhumane treatments?
From what I know, their cases have not even been fixed for trial. They are just there languishing in Egyptian Jails. So it is important for us to note that this is not just about the three Al Jazeera journalists.