Reporters Without Borders is relieved by today’s Cairo court decision to release Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed provisionally and calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately drop all charges against them.
Fahmy, who is Canadian, was ordered to pay 250,000 Egyptian pounds (29,000 euros) in bail. Mohamed, who is Egyptian, was freed without bail. But both are still accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and are due to appear in court again on 23 February. “We welcome the conditional release of Fahmy and Mohamed after more than 400 days in detention,” Reporters Without Borders programme director Lucie Morillon said. “It is essential that the Egyptian authorities now withdraw all the charges against them. These two journalists must not be subjected to a second trial. They are the victims of a political prosecution orchestrated by General Sisi. All they did was exercise their right to inform the public.” Reporters Without Borders continues to demand the release of the 15 journalists currently detained in Egypt, which is ranked 158th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.