[QODLink]
Spotlight

Top journalists join #FreeAJStaff campaign

In support of imprisoned Al Jazeera staff, big names in news ask their viewers to imagine a world without a free media.

Last updated: 23 Mar 2014 01:30
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Some of the biggest names in news have rallied behind Al Jazeera's campaign for the release of staff jailed in Egypt, asking their viewers in a video message to imagine a world without a free media.

The video, produced for the #FreeAJStaff campaign, features CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, ITN’s Mark Austin and Julie Etchingham, Channel 7 Australia’s Mark Ferguson, and Al Jazeera English’s Shiulie Ghosh.

"Imagine a world where reality is distorted, imagine being kept in the dark about major world events, and imagine being silenced when speaking out could save your life," the journalists say.  

The video has been released before the court appearance in Cairo on Monday of Al Jazeera English's Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy. They have been held in custody for three months accused of "spreading false news" and "belonging to a terrorist group" for reporting on Mohamed Morsi's removal from the presidency by the army.

Al Jazeera strongly rejects the charges and calls for the immediate release of its staff. 

The #FreeAJStaff photo campaign has gone viral [Al Jazeera]

The Twitter hashtag #FreeAJStaff - often used to post photos of journalists with taped mouths to symbolise being silenced - has now had over 786 million impressions since it was launched in February.

Expressing gratitude for the global show of solidarity, Al Jazeera English's managing director, Al Anstey, said: "We are very grateful to our colleagues around the world for their support of our staff detained in Egypt. Mohamed, Baher, and Peter are world-class journalists and are in detention for simply doing their job."

"We have seen massive support for them and for journalism from all corners of the globe, so the message of this film is clear – journalism matters and people have a right to be heard and to be informed," he added.

Egypt's interim president and chief justice, Adly Mansour, sent a letter to Greste's parents saying he would "spare no effort to work towards the speedy resolution of the case". 

A fourth Al Jazeera journalist, Abdullah al-Shami, has been held in Egypt for more than six months and has been on hunger strike since January 23.

Shami's detention was extended for an additional 45 days on March 13. Another Al Jazeera journalist, Mohamed Badr, was arrested on July 15 and released on February 5, when he was acquitted of a series of charges including being involved in the protests in Cairo's Ramses Square.  

You can find and share the video here.

445

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
Teenage phenom with quick hands and a passion for boxing has reminded many of the great Filipino fighter at a young age.
Families of Britons killed in 2013 siege at gas plant in Algeria frustrated by inquiry delay over 'sensitive' materials.
Rhinoceros beetles once drew 40,000 visitors each year to Tamura city, but nuclear disaster has decimated beetle mania.
In run-up to US midterm elections, backers of immigration law changes disappointed by postponement of executive action.
join our mailing list