London, United Kingdom – Reporters are used to hearing the sound of their own voice. But for one minute on Tuesday morning, exactly 24 hours after jail sentences were handed down to six Al Jazeera English staff (two in absentia) in Egypt, hundreds of journalists stood in silent solidarity.
Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed – who have already spent more than 170 days behind bars in Cairo during a trial widely described as “farcical” – were accused of “spreading false news” and being allied with the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.
BBC News Director James Harding told the crowd that the broadcaster would be calling on Egypt’s presidency to intervene and release the journalists.
“The verdict is unjust, the case is unfounded, and, taken together, the Egyptian authorities are not just robbing three innocent men of their freedom, they are intimidating journalists and inhibiting free speech,” he said.
Join the campaign to free our friends and colleagues using the Twitter hashtag: #FreeAJStaff.