DOHA: The Al Jazeera network has called for a Global Day of Action on February 27 in support of journalism in Egypt even as the trial of three of its journalists in Cairo was yesterday adjourned until March 5.
The network has urged people worldwide to participate in the day to continue applying pressure for the release of the journalists. “We are deeply disappointed that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed were not released from prison today (yesterday). The charges against our staff are baseless, unacceptable and wholly unjustified,” Al Anstey, Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, said in a statement.
“What is going on in Egypt now is a trial of journalism, so it is critical that we remain resolute in calling for freedom of speech, for the right of people to know, and for the immediate release of all of Al Jazeera journalists detained in Egypt,” he added. Baher, Fahmy and Greste of Al Jazeera English have been detained since December 29 last year. Al Jazeera Arabic’s Abdullah Elshamy has been detained without charge since August 14 and has been on hunger strike for four weeks.
The hashtag #FreeAJStaff has been viral worldwide, and institutions, including the White House, European Union and the United Nations have called for the release of the journalists, and for press freedom to be upheld, Al Jazeera said.
After opening the trial, a Cairo court said it will hear prosecution witnesses and consider the evidence at the next hearing.
The journalists present in the caged dock pleaded not guilty. Eight out of 20 defendants are in custody, with the rest on the run or abroad and being tried in absentia for supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and broadcasting false reports. The Peninsula