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Al Jazeera workers jailed for journalism – Our EcoChic Appeal

Al Jazeera workers jailed for journalism – Our EcoChic Appeal

 

by Deborah Miarkowska

Last night I listened with disbelief to the latest BBC news story of the three journalists now defendants, each sentenced to seven years in Cairo’s Tora prison, accused of spreading false news and either belonging to or assisting the Muslim brotherhood movement. The journalists included al-Jazeera’s Cairo bureau chief, Mohamed Fahmy, who is Canadian-Egyptian, Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed and award winning BBC journalist and Australian correspondent Peter Greste. The court tried a total of twenty people in the case, eleven of them in their absence, nine of the defendants are Al Jazeera staff. As well as the three men in detention they include British Journalists Dominic Kane, and Sue Turton and four Egyptian staff based in Qatar, all of whom the court tried in their absence.

In twelve sessions, the Public prosecution failed to produce any evidence to substantiate the  charges. Each of the defendants denies these allegations and the Australian Prime Minister is even reported to say that they were simply reporting the news story of the day.  Today hundreds of BBC journalists have come out in support of their colleagues. The conditions in the notorious Tora prison in Cairo where the defendants are held only be described as inhuman, degrading and insanitary.

Amnesty International have issued an appeal as those convicted can appeal the verdicts before a higher court and we would urge you to support this.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

Calling on the Egyptian authorities to release Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed immediately and unconditionally;

Urging them to release Sohaib Saad Mohamed, Khaled Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Ahmed Abdelazim and Khaled Abdel Rahman Mahmoud unless they are to be retried for recognizably criminal offences in proceedings that comply with international standards for fair trial;

Urging them to quash any convictions of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and any other defendants based solely on their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedoms of expression and association;

Calling on them to order independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of ill-treatment and ensure Mohamed Fahmy has access to any medical attention he may require.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 AUGUST 2014 TO:

Public Prosecutor

Hesham Mohamed Zaki Barakat

Office of the Public Prosecutor

Supreme Court House, 1 “26 July” Road

Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt

Fax: +202 2 577 4716

+202 2 575 7165 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +202 2 575 7165 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting

(switched off after office hours, GMT+2)

Salutation: Dear Counsellor

President

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Office of the President

Al Ittihadia Palace

Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt

Fax: +202 2 391 1441

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights

Mahy Hassan Abdel Latif

Multilateral Affairs and International Security Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Corniche al-Nil, Cairo

Arab Republic of Egypt

Fax: +202 2 574 9713

Email: Contact.Us@mfa.gov.eg

View the BBC’s short film – Why the men were imprisoned? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27929522

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