To call on the Egyptian Government to overturn the prison sentences given to Al Jazeera journalists.
This petition had 20,121 supporters
Three Al Jazeera journalists have been given prison sentences in Egypt for allegedly aiding terrorism.
Peter Greste and Mohamed Fahmy received seven years each whilst Baher Mohamed was given ten years. The court gave Mohamed three extra years for 'possessing' ammunition; Mohamed found used ammunition casing at a street protest. Two other journalists, Sue Turton and Dominic Kane were, like Thomas Paine the 18th century pamphleteer, tried in absentia and received ten years each.
The sentencing of the Al Jazeera journalists is one of the most troubling in the history of journalism because it was initiated by the current democratically elected government of Egypt. This form of State oppression must be resisted.
Al Jazeera has been accused of siding with terrorism because it sourced information from the Muslim Brotherhood, a legitimate part of journalistic investigation.
I am an academic and writer on journalism at the Southampton Solent University. I believe that journalism is central to democracy and free speech and is also important for holding power to account. The sentencing is a warning to all journalists not to investigate into affairs the Egyptian state say are 'illegal'. This must be resisted.
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