MISA-Regional | Statement
February 10 2014
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has joined journalists, activists and civil society organisations from all over the world in calling for the release of three Al Jazeera journalists currently detained in Egypt.
The three journalists – Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed – have been detained since 29 December 2013 on charges of “fabricating news” and plotting against the military government.
The three journalists are among dozens of journalists who have come under attack in Egypt since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted and the military took control of the country in July 2013. Since that time, at least five journalists have been killed, 45 assaulted and at least 44 detained without charge, and 11 news outlets have been raided in Egypt, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Reporters Without Borders estimates there are at least 177 journalists currently imprisoned around the world, including a journalist in Angola who has been detained since 2 February 2014 on accusations of slander and defamation.
Arresting and charging journalists with criminal offences for doing their work is an unjustifiable restriction on freedom of expression. As an advocate for media freedom, MISA calls on all governments to release journalists detained for carrying out legitimate news reporting activities.