More than 40 international correspondents and editors from over 30 media organizations including the New York Times, the Guardian, BBC, BuzzFeed and Le Monde, signed a statement demanding the release of journalists detained in Egypt.
Incredible list of foreign journalists and media outlets show solidarity with those detained in #Egypt http://t.co/8GCnc9InLX
— Sherine Tadros (@SherineT)
The letter specifically called for the release of three Al Jazeera journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who have been arbitrarily imprisoned in Egypt since Dec. 29, 2013.
#AlJazeera demands the release of @PeterGreste, Mohamed Fahmy @Repent11, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fawzy
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish)
V grateful to all fellow journos who signed letter to #FreeAJStaff. We may work for diff outlets but are one when it comes to #pressfreedom
— Al Anstey (@AlAnsteyAJ)
The letter expresses concern that the three “well respected journalists” could face charges of “belonging to a terrorist organization and spreading false news that could endanger national security.”
The journalists also pointed out the impact of these arrests on the country’s record of press freedom. Egypt was included in the top 10 list of worst jailers of journalists in 2013, according to a report by The Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Demonstrators call for the release of Al Jazeera journalists at a protest outside Egypt’s embassy in London on Nov. 12, 2013. AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis
One of the detained journalists, Mohamed Fahmy, is being held in “a windowless room in Cairo’s notorious Scorpion Prison” according to a CPJ letter written to the Egyptian president demanding the release of journalists.
Egyptian authorities arrested Mohamed Fahmy-@repent11- for committing journalism. He doesn't deserve this treatment http://t.co/lZyxjPmpLI
— Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN)
Fahmy reportedly has a preexisting shoulder injury which was “exacerbated by his incarceration, but he has been refused medical assistance,” CPJ stated in its letter.