Egypt’s armed forces must end the military trial of two journalists, release them immediately and unconditionally, and drop all charges against them, Amnesty International said as it named both men prisoners of conscience.
Amr Al Qazaz and Islam Farahat are to appear before the North Cairo Misdemeanour Military Court on 26 February 2014, on charges of illegally obtaining and publishing classified military documents and videos – including interviews with Egypt’s Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. If convicted, both men could face up to three years in prison.
“The two journalists are prisoners of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression by performing their jobs,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Program Director at Amnesty International.
“The Egyptian authorities must release them immediately and unconditionally, and drop all charges against them. Journalism is not a crime, and civilians, including journalists, should never face trial in military courts.”