Journalism is not a crime: Over 10,000 people call on Egypt's President el-Sisi to #FreeAJstaff

200 days in prison for Al Jazeera journalists is 200 days too many

TORONTO, July 16, 2014 /CNW/ - On the 200th day in Egyptian prison for three Al Jazeera English journalists, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) sent a petition signed by 10,799 people to Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi demanding he immediately and unconditionally release the three unjustly detained individuals.

On June 23, Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed were convicted of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news, and sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison. British journalists Sue Turton and Dominic Kane, and Dutch journalist Rena Netjes were convicted of the same charges in absentia and were each sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Since Fahmy, Greste and Mohamed were arrested on December 29, 2013, the case has spurred international outcry about the injustice of the charges, illegitimacy of the trial, and severity of the verdict.

"This petition, with signatories from Canada to South Africa to Japan and more, shows there is an overwhelming global consensus: these men have done nothing wrong and are being persecuted for carrying out their jobs as objective journalists," said CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer. "Supporters of press freedom around the world are united in their call — President el-Sisi must free Fahmy, Greste and Mohammed."

CJFE and the global community of free expression defenders call on President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to release Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed without delay and to finally end the injustice that has been repeatedly perpetuated against them for the past 200 days. Journalism is not a crime.

About CJFE
CJFE monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, we promote a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others' free expression rights. cjfe.org

SOURCE Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

For further information: and to request interviews, please contact: Tom Henheffer, Executive Director, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, 647-992-4630, thenheffer@cjfe.org