President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi must release Al Jazeera journalists
TORONTO, Dec. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Tomorrow, December 29, marks the one year anniversary of the day Al Jazeera English journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed were arrested in Cairo. In concert with Mohamed Fahmy's family, CJFE calls on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to free the journalists.
While CJFE applauds the announcement that Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird will be travelling to Cairo next month to advocate for Fahmy's release, the organization also calls on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to make a clear, public statement demanding freedom for these journalists.
As Fahmy's lawyers, Amal Clooney and Mark Wassouf stated in a letter to the Prime Minister, "in speaking out publicly about the case, Canada could not be on safer ground—it is so clearly a show trial that even Egypt's president is embarrassed about it."
While governments around the world have repeatedly advocated for the journalists in the public forum and vehemently condemned their unjust imprisonment, Canada's Prime Minister has remained silent. He has yet to make a single public statement decrying the ongoing detention on fabricated terrorism charges.
It is also time for President el-Sisi to make good on his repeated promises to guarantee freedom of the press by finally releasing the Al Jazeera journalists. CJFE will be sending a letter to President el-Sisi urging him to free Mohamed Fahmy and his fellow detained journalists in Egypt, which will be published on December 29.
A year imprisoned for journalism is a year too long.
For more information about the detention of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, and the #FreeAJstaff campaign, visit cjfe.org/freeajstaff.
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, CJFE Executive Director, 647-992-4630, [email protected] or Alexandra Zakreski, CJFE International Programs Coordinator, 647-631-7134, [email protected]