Thursday, July 24, 2014

free the Al-Jazeera journalists held in Egypt!‏

Petition : Mr. Sisi, free the Al-Jazeera journalists held in Egypt!

Reporters Without Borders
47 Rue Vivienne
Paris 75002

Help us to defend freedom of information in Egypt!

A month ago, on 23 June, a Cairo court passed sentences ranging from seven to ten years in prison on three Al-Jazeera journalists: Peter Greste (who is Australian), Mohamed Adel Fahmy (who has Egyptian and Canadian dual citizenship) and Baher Mohamed (who is Egyptian). Similar sentences were passed on 17 other defendants, 11 of them in absentia. Three of the latter were foreign journalists.
 The Egyptian journalists were convicted of membership in a “terrorist organization” (the Muslim Brotherhood) and “sullying Egypt’s image.” The foreign journalists were convicted of disseminating “false reports.” In reality, the government did not like Al-Jazeera’s editorial policies. Sign this petition because journalists should not be in prison for doing their job!
The politically-orchestrated trial was typical of the totalitarian excesses of a government that is trampling on the constitution adopted in January. Field Marshal Sisi, who was elected president in May, is supposed to be its guarantor. Instead he is crushing fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and information. We call on President Sisi to do everything in his power to ensure that these journalists are released, by whatever means necessary. Sign this petition because the new constitution must be applied and the rule of law must be respected!
Six journalists have been killed in connection with their work, with complete impunity, since President Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow in July 2013. At least 65 journalists have been arrested, some media have been censored and others have been closed. Many journalists are in detention awaiting trial. The authorities are organizing a witch-hunt against journalists, both those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and others. Sign this petition because freedom of information must not be trapped between two rival camps!
Ever since the start of the revolution in January 2011, there have been constant attempts to control and gag the media by successive governments, including the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is now ranked 159th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Help us to defend freedom of information in Egypt!

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