The Egyptian authorities must immediately drop the charges against three journalists from Al Jazeera English who were referred to trial today for allegedly providing assistance or belonging to a banned group engaged in terrorist activities, said Amnesty International.
“Today’s decision by Egypt’s chief prosecutor to refer a number of journalists to trial on alleged terrorism related charges is a major setback for media freedom in Egypt,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“The move sends the chilling message that only one narrative is acceptable in Egypt today - that which is sanctioned by the Egyptian authorities.”
The three journalists -- Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed -- have been detained since 29 December 2013. Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to free expression and is calling for them to be immediately and unconditionally released.
If convicted, the journalists could face between three years to life in prison.