Egypt Re-arraigns Two Al-jazeera Reporters

Fahmy-AP

The retrial of two Al Jazeera reporters, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy resumed in Cairo Thursday.

Thursday’s hearing will be the eighth in the retrial of the duo. The previous seven sessions in the Cairo court, including the last one on June 11, were all adjourned.

The journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organisation, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed in Egypt after the army overthrew President Mohamed Morsi amidst civil unrest in 2013.

The journalists and Al Jazeera have consistently denied the allegations.

According to reports monitored on Al-Jazeera, the journalists’ incarceration is seen globally as a reinforcement of the view of human rights groups that the government was rolling back freedoms gained after the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, the New York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists, CPJ, released a report on Thursday detailing the incarceration of 18 Egyptian journalists most of who were accused of affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

It said that the threat of imprisonment in Egypt is part of a stifling atmosphere in which authorities pressure media outlets to censor critical voices and issue gag orders on sensitive topics.






     

     

    The CPJ accused the Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led government of invoking national security to trample on civil liberties.

    “CPJ spoke to high-level officials, including the prosecutor-general and the minister of transitional justice, who denied that Egypt was holding any journalists in jail in relation to their work,” the group said in the report, which was based on a June 1 census of Egyptian prisons.

    It added that the CPJ research shows that the Egyptian government had used the pretext of national security to crack down on human rights, including press freedom.

    Fahmy, a naturalised Canadian who has since given up his Egyptian citizenship and Mohamed were released on bail in February after spending more than a year in custody.


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