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Free speech, caged – journalists jailed in Egypt

23 June 2014

Three journalists working for Al-Jazeera in Egypt have been sentenced to between seven and ten years in an Egyptian jail on ‘terrorist-related’ offences.



The former BBC correspondent Peter Greste and the journalist Mohamed Fahmy have been jailed for seven years, while Baher Mohamed, a local producer, has been jailed for 10 years.

A journalist flashes the V-sign (Photo: MAHMOUD KHALED/AFP/Getty)


Throughout the trial, the defendants have been kept in cages in the Cairo courtroom. This dark day for journalism should remind us why a free press is so fundamental to democracy.



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Show comments
  • AJH1968

    Does the above Journalist live on the same planet as the
    rest of us rational folk, or is she submitting her articles from Mars (or Venus,
    who cares really). We are so poorly served by our elite who do not seem to realize
    that we are in the fight of our lives. Ingratiating yourself with the school
    bully will not help you in the long run.

  • sarah_13

    I hope all the journalists who protested this morning for a free press in Egypt; for the freedom of journalists working for Al Jazeera who are paid for, directly or indirectly, by regimes who do not respect such freedom let alone other basic freedoms, protest in the same way agains the Royal Charter and the legislation that will force newspapers to join the charter or pay punitive damages if sued, win or lose. We talk a good game in this country but if we can’t defend a free press in the UK when it really counts what chance do we have of setting an example for the Egyptian government.

  • andy_gill

    Where are the calls from the NUJ lefties to boycott Egypt? The luvvies proposed boycotting another Middle Eastern country recently.

    Oh, I forgot, that wasn’t a protest against the suppression of free speech it was left-wing anti-Zionist bigotry.

  • saffrin

    Serves them right.

  • Sean Lamb

    Free speech isn’t supposed to include the freedom to shout fire in a crowded theatre. Al Jazeera has been shouting fire in quite a few ME countries of late and many thousands have been killed in the resulting stampedes. If shutting down Al Jazeera is the price to pay for not having Egypt turn into another Syria or Iraq, it is a small price to pay. Or as another American said: the constitution is not a suicide note.

    Although I dare say these issues were not uppermost in Peter Greste’s mind when he agreed to take the Emir’s coin.

  • Teddy Bear

    Either the author of this article is ignorant, or doesn’t care about real FREE SPEECH.

    Last July, 22 journalists quit Al Jazeera because of its pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias.
    It’s fair to assume that the ones that stayed weren’t bothered by it and were content to skew the reality to favour MB.
    This is not FREE SPEECH Prendergast, it’s twisting reality for an insidious purpose. You are either doing the same with your article or are truly ignorant about what you write.

    To my mind, after what the Muslim Brotherhood were doing in Egypt, particularly to the Copts, these journalists are getting what they deserve. They can rot there for all I care.

  • swatnan

    Steady on.You’ll give Teresa ideas about improving the Justice system here.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      More likely that the Fascist Labour Party will take up this idea. They are the party, after all, that hates freedom of speech and expression. Freedom of speech in Labour’s book means expressing views of which it approves.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Comrades Thornbury and Starmer are the ones you want to watch in that regard.

  • HookesLaw

    I can well believe the trial was a fraud. Equally I can well believe they were spreading ‘false news’, after all this is what the BBC does all the time.

    • southerner

      Stay classy Hooky.

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