Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn that the Egyptian authorities yesterday freed Peter Greste, an Australian journalist working for Al-Jazeera, and urges them to release fellow Al-Jazeera employees Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed and all the other journalists they are holding.
Greste had been held since December 2013. His family requested his deportation under a presidential decree issued last November that provides for the possibility of expelling foreigners who have been convicted or who are on trial. “We welcome Peter Greste’s release after more than a year in detention and call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately free the two other Al-Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who were arrested at the same time,” Reporters Without Borders programme director Lucie Morillon said. “They are not guilty of any of the charges brought against them and have been paying dearly for the regime’s crackdown on media with real or imagined links to the Muslim Brotherhood.” Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed were given sentences ranging from seven to ten years in prison last June on charges of disseminating false news and belonging to a “terrorist organization.” Greste has said he will do everything possible to obtain the release of his colleagues as soon as possible. Reporters Without Borders continues to call for the release of all the journalists detained in Egypt, the world’s fourth largest prison for media personnel after China, Eritrea and Iran. The number of journalists detained in Egypt now stands at 15. AFP PHOTO/HO/AL JAZEERA