The 7 year long jail sentence handed down to Australian journalist Peter Greste has sparked outrage around the world about the lack of press freedom in Egypt.
Greste, and his colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, work for Al Jazeera English. All three men were found guilty in an Egyptian court of ‘conspiring to spread false information’ and supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood. They emphatically deny the charges.
The charges stem from a routine three week reporting stint where the men covered the politically charged environment in Egypt. The sentence was a shock to many due to the lack of evidence and a series of bizarre and undemocratic court proceedings.
It has been alleged that the decision reflects the ongoing tensions between Egypt and Qatar. Qatar is seen to be supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and the country that finances Al Jazeera.
The detention of journalists based on perceived political views sets a very dangerous precedent and must be opposed. The Socialist Party demands that Greste and the 14 other journalists currently locked up in Egypt are immediately released. The right to report without interference from the state must be defended.
By Aishwarya Ramji