Egypt Extends Detention of Al Jazeera Journalists

By Merrill Knox 

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al-jazeera-logoA team of Al Jazeera journalists who were arrested in Egypt for suspected ties to the Muslim Brotherhood will be held for 15 more days, the network says.

Egyptian authorities arrested four Cairo-based journalists — correspondent Peter Greste, producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy– on December 29. Fawzy was later released; the other three are being held separately in Tora prison.

Two more Al Jazeera journalists, Mubasher Misr and Abdullah Al Shami, are being held in Egypt. Misr has been held for six months and Al Shami has been held for five months. According to Al Jazeera, the verdict in Misr’s case was scheduled to be announced Thursday, but the authorities have delayed their decision. The sentencing will now take place on February 2.

“By continuing to hold our journalists, the Egyptian authorities are attempting to silence us and to disable our role as a media organisation,” Al Jazeera said in a statement. “We condemn the allegations directed at our staff by Egyptian authorities which are aiming to stigmatise us, and further incite violence against our journalists working on the ground. This is all part of a larger antagonistic campaign against us.”