Egypt must release journalists and protect freedom of expression

The three journalists – Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, all considered by Amnesty International to be prisoners of conscience – were sentenced to seven years in jail. Baher Mohamed received a further three years on a separate charge of possessing a bullet shell. They have been detained since 29 December 2013.

Their crime? Reporting the news and challenging the “official version” presented by the authorities. Amnesty International believes they are prisoners of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.

The three men were detained on December 29, 2013 and later charged with falsifying news and belonging to or assisting a banned terrorist organization. They face up to life imprisonment if convicted. Their trial is grossly unfair. Amnesty International fears that the charges may be an attempt to punish the journalists for Al Jazeera’s editorial line. The channel has been accused of being biased towards the now banned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. 

Take action to free these journalists!

Journalists at risk in Egypt

Journalism has never been an easy profession in Egypt. During the 17 months of military rule following the 2011 resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, journalists were targeted, shot and detained for holding cameras to document human rights violations by the security forces.

During the presidency of Mohamed Morsi, media professionals were again targeted by both the security

forces and the judiciary for criticising the government and its supporters. Journalists, bloggers and even comedians faced politically motivated or trumped-up criminal charges like “defaming religion” or “insulting the president”.

Since Mohamed Morsi’s ousting in July 2013, media workers operate in an increasing climate of fear. Journalists and bloggers continue to be arrested for investigating and reporting on human rights violations. In some cases security forces have apparently deliberately targeted media workers while dispersing protests.  A number of media outlets perceived as sympathetic to the former president and the Muslim Brotherhood have been ordered closed.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.