Al Jazeera staff held for 300 days in Egypt

Channel to air 300-second montage to mark key dates of judicial proceedings against journalists jailed in Cairo.

Al Jazeera English journalists Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste are marking the 300th day since their arrest in Egypt.

Greste and Fahmy received seven-year jail terms, while Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years, after they were accused of aiding terrorism and spreading false news, in a case that sparked international outrage.

Jehan Rashed, Baher Mohamed’s wife, describes her struggle

An Egyptian court will be convening on January 1 to see whether the appeals against their convictions are considered.

The hearing will look at the process behind the original trial, a process that Al Jazeera has always was flawed, and is the basis of the appeal. The network hopes the three will be set free, though a retrial could also be ordered.

The channel will be airing a special 300-second montage on Friday to mark the key dates since their arrest, subsequent trial and sentencing.

Each second will be equal to one day of the 300 that Mohamed, Fahmy and Greste have spent behind bars. Al Jazeera English will air the montage at 18:00 GMT on Friday.

Greste’s parents ‘optimistic’

The parents of Australian correspondent Greste have once again spoken of their hope that along with Mohamed and Baher, he will be released.

Juris and Lois Greste told Al Jazeera that for the past 300 days their life had been overtaken by the commitment to see that their son would be freed.

Juris Greste said: “We really haven’t had another life this year. It has been campaigning from morning until night from Friday to next Friday.”

Both parents have visited Peter in Egypt after he, along with his colleagues – Egyptian-Canadian Fahmy and Egyptian Mohamed, were convicted in June of aiding terrorism and spreading false news that portrayed Egypt as being in a state of “civil war,” charges that Al Jazeera has rejected from the outset.

Calls for the release of the Al Jazeera staff have previously been made by the White House, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the European Union, the Australian government and more than 150 rights groups, including Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Press Institute.

More than 200,000 people have signed petitions globally, including two petitions signed by 150,000 people presented to the Egyptian Vice Counsel in Sydney by Australia’s leading journalists.

Public calls of support for the release of the journalists have occurred throughout the social media campaign #FreeAJStaff, with more than 137,000 people sharing their support on Twitter, reaching 112 million people and delivering more than two billion impressions.

Source: Al Jazeera

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