Protests held over Al Jazeera staff detained in Egypt

 28 Feb 2014 - 6:00


Lebanese journalists and activists hold placards to show their solidarity with detained journalists in Egypt, during a protest in downtown Beirut yesterday.

DOHA: Al Jazeera television yesterday organised a “global day of action” in solidarity with its four journalists detained in Egypt over accusations of supporting the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Dozens of staff of the Doha-based satellite news channel staged a five-minute gathering at the network’s headquarters.
“It is not a crime to be a journalist,” read banners carried by Al Jazeera staff, some of them with their mouth taped, an Al Jazeera journalist said.
The channel said protests were held in other cities in support of the campaign.
In Khartoum, around 100 Sudanese journalists and activists staged a silent vigil on a street near the office of the satellite channel, an AFP journalist reported.
Al Jazeera declared yesterday a “global day of action” in support of its staff and for media freedom in general.
The detained Al Jazeera staff in Egypt include Australian journalist Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian colleague Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed.
They have been held since December in a case that has sparked an international outcry.
Their trial began in a Cairo court last week, against the backdrop of strained ties between Cairo and Doha, which backed deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi and his now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Mursi was ousted by the army in July.
The government has designated the Brotherhood a “terrorist organisation”.
The three journalists are accused of supporting the Brotherhood and broadcasting false reports.
A fourth Al Jazeera journalist, Abdullah Al Shami, has been held since August.

Pro-Mursi activists held

CAIRO: Egyptian police detained seven men accused of using Facebook for inciting people against the security forces, the Interior Ministry said yesterday. It said the men were behind Facebook sites, some of which had published the addresses of policemen.