The International Federation of Journalists welcomes the meeting this morning in Cairo between an IFJ-FAJ delegation and Egypt‘s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to discuss the imprisonment of the three Al Jazeera journalists – Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed – jailed by an Egyptian court on 23rd June.
The International Federation of Journalists delegation included its President Jim Boumelha and its former President Christopher Warren who is also Federal Secretary of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance of Australia, Peter Greste’s union.
“We are particularly grateful that the Prime Minister started a dialogue and understood the concern of the IFJ and its member unions about the imprisonment of our colleagues who worked for Al Jazeera and the impact the sentence is having on their families,” said Jim Boumelha.
The Prime Minister explained that the legal process should be allowed to reach a conclusion before looking at new avenues. It is hoped that the innocence of the three journalists can be established during the appeal.
Christopher Warren pointed to the record of Peter Greste as an independent, ethical journalist and noted his respect among his peers.
“The release of Peter and his colleagues would be a strong gesture to journalists and we urge the President to exercise his prerogative of mercy,“ he said.
The delegation appealed to the Prime Minister to support the call to Egypt’s president by journalists’ unions all over the world and also by the Arab Federation of Journalists and leaders of the journalists’ syndicate in Egypt to exercise his prerogative to issue a pardon once the legal process is exhausted.
Both sides agreed to remain in communication throughout this process and continue further discussions.
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries