REGIONS:

SUBSCRIBE:

Sign up for weekly updates

Conviction of Al Jazeera journalists a dark day for media freedom in Egypt

Less than a month after the election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as Egypt's new president, IFEX members respond with outrage to today's widely-condemned sentencing of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed (L to R) listen to a ruling at a court in Cairo, 23 June 2014
Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed (L to R) listen to a ruling at a court in Cairo, 23 June 2014

REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

After a politicised trial that some have called 'farcical', journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed have been found guilty of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Fahmy, a Canadian-Egyptian who heads Al Jazeera's Cairo bureau, and Australian correspondent Greste were jailed for seven years. Egyptian producer Mohamed was sentenced to an additional three years for possession of a spent bullet casing.

Here's a roundup of what IFEX members are saying:

Arabic Network for Human Rights Information – "The verdicts issued against Al Jazeera journalists over this unfair case represent an agonising blow to freedom of the press, and are part of a systematic campaign launched by Egyptian authorities against critical journalists."
Read more

ARTICLE 19 – "Journalists are in the front line of the Egyptian government's campaign against free expression. Six journalists have been killed in the past eleven months… Many more are in jail. Unfair trials and harsh sentences… are part of a campaign to restrict everybody's freedom."
Read more

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression – "CJFE calls on the Canadian government to lead the creation of a coalition of supporting countries to pressure Egypt to reverse the conviction of these three journalists… Now, more than ever, it is imperative that the Canadian government stand up for its citizens."
Read more

Committee to Protect Journalists – "Today's verdict… [is] a transparently politicised result, in which the Al-Jazeera journalists have become pawns in a conflict with Qatar over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood. The verdict thus represents a political crisis for President el-Sisi – one he must find a way to resolve if he wants to achieve his goal of legitimating the government and restoring his country's international standing."
Read more

Federation of Nepali Journalists – "FNJ requests Egyptian authorities to immediately release the detained journalists and make a secure working atmosphere for journalists in Egypt."
Read more

Freedom House – "[The conviction] demonstrates conclusively that hopes for a democratic 'transition' are dead. Coming immediately after Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Cairo, in which he praised the 'strategic relationship' with Egypt, the court's rulings were probably intended to show that however repressive the regime becomes, it can count on unquestioning U.S. support."
Read more

Human Rights Watch – "Egypt is punishing people for exercising basic rights that are essential to any democratic transition, and U.S. legislation requires progress on those rights before the Obama administration can certify additional military aid."
Read more

Index on Censorship – "We call on the international community to join us in condemning this verdict and ask governments to apply political and financial pressure on a country that is rapidly unwinding recently won freedoms, including freedom of the press."
Read more

International Federation of Journalists – "It is clear that journalists covering the complex political and social situation in Egypt must not be blamed or made responsible for incidents that occur. These journalists were doing their job, as is the case in other parts of the world."
Read more

International Press Institute – "These convictions, including those in absentia, really show the depth and breadth of Egypt's attempts to silence the media… [and] send the message that if you step out of line based on the guidelines and expectations of the government, you will wind up in prison."
Read more

Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance - "Contrary to the charges the three journalists have behaved ethically and responsibly while reporting on a complex, rapidly changing political environment in Egypt."
Read more

PEN Canada – "The conviction... strikes at the heart of freedom of expression in Egypt and raises troubling questions about the country's lack of judicial independence."
Read more

PEN International – "The international community must respond swiftly, not only on behalf of foreign journalists, but on behalf of the citizens of Egypt, for whom democracy is in grave danger."
Read more

Reporters Without Borders – "Not content with criminalising all political opposition, the Egyptian authorities are pursuing a policy of gagging news media that try to offer a different take on reality from the government's. We point out that such arrests and arbitrary convictions violate the provisions of the new constitution."
Read more

World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers – "These journalists have been jailed for simply doing their jobs and journalism is not a crime. We will protest this decision in the strongest possible terms."
Read more

Latest Tweet:

Municipales 2017: Un evento con entrada restringida a la prensa https://t.co/R1Ejb1rGlN #Municipales2017 #Venezuela… https://t.co/xdiPUjJ71d