Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Release of Al Jazeera staff welcomed internationally

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's decision to pardon two imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists has been welcomed by rights groups, diplomats, and the network itself.

In a statement released shortly after Wednesday's decision to free Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, Al Jazeera's director general Mostefa Souag said the network was "delighted" with the decision.

"We're delighted for them both and their families. It is hard to celebrate though as this whole episode should not have happened in the first place. They've lost nearly two years of their lives when they were guilty of nothing except journalism," Souag said.

He added the network would continue to call on Egyptian authorities to drop convictions against seven of its journalists tried in absentia, including Australian reporter Peter Greste, who was arrested alongside Fahmy and Mohamed.

"The case for seven journalists convicted in absentia continues...we urge the Egyptian authorities to quash their cases and let them too get on with their lives."

The demand to overturn the convictions made in absentia was repeated by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who asked the Egyptian government to pardon Greste and his colleagues.............


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