A top US television personality has spoken out in support of four Al Jazeera journalists being held in Egypt, saying they are being held hostage.

In an interview with Al Jazeera America's John Seigenthaler, CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon said the journalists were hostages since the Egyptian government had not come up with any credible charges against them.

Simon insisted the journalists' release depended upon pressure from foreign governments.

"I think if President [Barack] Obama called Field Marshall Sisi, and said 'Let them out', it would have an influence," Simon said in the interview.

"The Americans say they have been in contact, and they have called for the release of the journalists, but short of that happening, I don’t think it means very much." 

Simon was kidnapped himself and held prisoner by Iraqi forces in 1991. He was released after being tortured and held for 40 days.

Four Al Jazeera journalists are currently being held in Egypt, three of whom have been charged with belonging to a "terrorist group" and spreading "false news," charges that have been denied by the network. The fourth has been detained without charge for the past six months.

Source: Al Jazeera