Al Jazeera journalists mark one year anniversary of imprisonment in Egypt

Colleagues will stage a demonstration outside the Egyptian embassy in London today as case goes before court of appeals

Rose Troup Buchanan
Monday 29 December 2014 12:37
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Friends and colleagues marked the first anniversary of the imprisonment of three Al Jazeera journalists jailed by the Egyptian government with a planned protest outside the country's London embassy amid a glimmer of hope for the men's freedom.

Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste were arrested in Cairo on 29 December last year under charges of aiding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, a “terrorist organisation”.

On social media, colleagues and friends of the imprisoned men tweeted their support ahead of a planned vigil outside the Egyptian embassy in London at noon today.

Mr Mohamed, an Egyptian, was sentenced to 10 years in jail, while Australian Mr Greste and Egyptian-Canadian Mr Fahmy each received seven years.

Al Jazeera has consistently said the allegations surrounding the journalists were “false” and that the case against the men was “flawed”.

The tragic anniversary comes ahead of a glimpse of hope. On Thursday Egypt’s Court of Cassation will hear an appeal for the three by examining the process of the case.

“We have had our hopes dashed before, but this time round though we really do hope that Egypt gets the right decision made in the court and there is an acquittal,” Peter Greste’s mother told the BBC.

The men were captured during a raid on the hotel room used as a office in Cairo last year. Acting Bureau chief Mr Fahmy and correspondent Mr Greste were questioned by police for an hour before being taken to a police station.

Officers later arrested freelance producer Mr Mohamed, at the time working for Al Jazeera, at his home.

Mr Mohamed wife, Jehan, who was pregnant when security forces broke into their home a year ago, told Sky News: “We've spent a year in sadness and we don't know why he's in prison. The whole household is sad in a way I can't describe”.

Baher Mohamed,Mohammed Fahmy and correspondent Peter Greste (from left to right)

"We are adults, we can take it and understand, but what have the children done to deserve this?"

Despite President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s ability to issue a presidential pardon, Egypt’s leader has declared he will not interfere with the judicial process.

The White House, the British Foreign Office, the European Union, the Australian government and more than 150 rights groups, including Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Press Institute have all condemned the treatment of the journalists and called for their immediate release.

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