The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadian-Egyptian among 3 journalists, working for Al-Jazeera, jailed in Egypt

  • Print

More than 50 news organizations have called on Egyptian authorities Monday to release three journalists — including a Canadian-Egyptian — jailed while working for Al-Jazeera English and to stop arbitrary detentions of media representatives.

The team was taken into custody Dec. 29 at a hotel room in Cairo where they were working after the Egyptian government raided the offices of the Qatar-based satellite news broadcaster.

The Interior Ministry said the arrest of acting bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, a Canadian-Egyptian, correspondent Peter Greste of Australia and producer Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian, was part of its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government has branded a "terrorist" organization.

The ministry accused one of those arrested, without naming him, of using the hotel suite as a media centre for the group from which it broadcast "rumours and false news" and to hold organizational meetings for members of the Brotherhood.

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada says officials have been in touch with the Canadian-Egyptian journalist.

"Consular services are being provided to the Canadian citizen who has been arrested in Cairo, Egypt, and officials are in contact with the family. Consular officials continue to liaise with local officials," a deparment spokesperson said in an email to The Canadian Press.

Egypt's top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, said the journalists would be held through the end of the month for interrogation. Their detention is seen by many as a sign of the military government's impatience with dissent after it overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in a coup in July.

Al-Jazeera has said the reporters were operating within the country legally and had no affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, and that the channel is working for their release.

"Our journalists were simply doing their jobs in Cairo, and we look forward to their release," said Al Anstey, managing director for Al-Jazeera English.

The statement, signed by the news organizations, called for the release of all journalists who have been arbitrarily detained in Egypt, singling out Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed. It also expressed deep concern that the three may face charges including belonging to a terrorist organization and spreading false news that could endanger national security.

The statement was sent to the State Information Service, which said in a meeting with a group representing the signees that it had been relayed to the Foreign Ministry and relevant security bodies.

More than 50 representatives of media organizations from around the world signed the document, including senior editors and reporters from the AP, CNN, BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and NPR.

"The arrest of these journalists has cast a cloud over press and media freedom in Egypt. We strongly believe that upholding the rights of journalists and permitting the free flow of information is vital to bringing about greater understanding and serves the best interests of all Egyptians and the world," the statement said.

Al-Jazeera's offices have been stormed several times over the past months. Journalists and cameramen have been detained and a court order has barred its local affiliate from broadcasting in Egypt since September, accusing it of endangering national security. The affiliate, Al-Jazeera Mubasher Egypt, has continued to broadcast using its studios in Doha, Qatar, collaborating with freelancers and using amateur videos.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Kenney lashes out at Manitoba's “campaign of fear” on immigration

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the suspensions levied against three bantam hockey players for abusing game officials?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google