IFJ Joins Call for Egyptian Government to Free Al Jazeera Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined a number of high profile politicians, trade unions leaders, media organisations and press freedom supporters to call for the release of two journalists from the Aljazeera Media Network who are being detained in Egypt.

Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Badr, who recently became a father, was taken to Azbakeya police station on 16 July for investigation into his coverage of the Ramses Square clashes. He was later transferred to the Tura prison for further interrogation and remains in detention. His colleague Abdullah Al Shami was arrested on 14 August and take to Abu-Zabal prison.

IFJ President Jim Boumelha joined a group of staff at Aljazeera Media Network, MPs John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn and supporters of freedom for journalists in Egypt, to present a letter to the Egyptian embassy in London signed by the IFJ, the NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, and Ghassan Abu-Hussein, manager of international relations and communications, Aljazeera Network.

The letter says the men have been detained without charge. “We urge the interim Egyptian government to charge them formally and put them up for a fair, transparent and non-political trial or release them immediately,” says the letter.

It adds: “Given the fact that other journalists have lost their lives in Egypt over the past few months and others face difficulty doing their professional jobs, we urge your government to respect the right of journalists to work in a safe environment.”

The call follows a series of attacks against journalists working in Egypt in recent months. There have been reports of TV stations being closed and journalists being detained and harrassed. Seven journalists and media workers have been killed in Egypt this year.

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