[QODLink]
Middle East

Al Jazeera says journalists did not confess

Network denies journalists imprisoned in Egypt since last year have confessed to being members of Muslim Brotherhood.

Last updated: 17 Jan 2014 10:48
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Fahmy, Mohamed and Greste were taken into custody on December 29 [Al Jazeera]

Al Jazeera has denied that its journalists detained in Egypt since December 29, 2013, have confessed to the charges levelled against them.

Egypt's prosecutor's office said on Thursday that some of the journalists - producers Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and correspondent Peter Greste - confessed to being members of the Muslim Brotherhood, without specifying who.

Muslim Brotherhood was designated as a terrorist organisation by Egypt's military-led interim government after its leader Mohamed Morsi was deposed on July 3 in a coup.

A spokesman for the Doha-based Al Jazeera Media Network rejected the prosecutor's claim, saying: "The prosecutor’s measure of issuing a statement like this is unusual, as it looks like a prejudgement on an ongoing investigation. Claims that anyone has 'confessed' are rejected by our journalists and legal team," he said.

The statement from the chief prosecutor's office stated that the journalists were being interrogated on suspicion of having unlicensed equipment and broadcasting false news that harmed national security.

No charges

Formal charges against the three, who were taken into custody on December 29, have not yet been filed as the investigation is ongoing.

"The accusations against our journalists do not stand up to scrutiny. Our detained team had been working in Cairo for some time and people can still watch their work online. It was all of the highest journalistic standards and integrity, as has been all our output since the start of the momentous events in Egypt three years ago," Saeed said.

The detainment of the journalists has raised an international outcry.

"We have been overwhelmed by the global calls for our journalists to be released, and the Egyptian authorities would be well advised to take heed," the Al Jazeera spokesperson said.

Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed were remanded to 15 more days in custody on January 8, according to the state prosecutor.

They were initially arrested along with cameraman Mohamed Fawzy, who was later released.

Al Jazeera Arabic's Abdullah Al Shami and Al Jazeera Mubashar Misr cameraman Mohammed Badr also remain in Egyptian custody for more than five months.

The network is demanding the freedom of all its staff jailed in Egypt.

347

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.