Today Al Jazeera marks 300 days since the arrest of its journalists in Egypt. The broadcaster will mark the occasion with 300 seconds of silence on-air, accompanied by images of the detainees and the campaign to release them.
But there is hope on the horizon as the Egyptian government has announced that a court will consider an appeal against their convictions on 1 January 2015.
Al Jazeera says the process was flawed and is using this as a basis for the appeal so the hearing will look at the process behind the original trial. The network hopes the three – Baher Mohammed, Mohammed Fahmy and Peter Greste – will be set free, though a retrial could also be ordered.
Baher Mohammed, Mohammed Fahmy and Peter Greste were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in June, after being arrested in December last year. Since the appeal was filed, another Al Jazeera journalist in a separate case, Ahmed Mansour, was convicted in absentia to fifteen years in jail.
“Baher, Mohammed and Peter have been incarcerated for nearly 10 months on the patently absurd charges of falsifying news and being involved in terrorism,” said Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed in a statement
“In reality, they are fine journalists, convicted on the basis of a weak investigation and a court case riddled with procedural flaws. We hope that the court date of 1 January 2015 means that the new year can herald a new chapter, with the release of our journalists and the betterment of press freedoms in Egypt.”
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