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Al Jazeera demands release of journos in Egypt

10 January 2014, 12:02

Cape Town - Egyptian authorities continue to delay the release of cameraman Mubasher Misr, who is among five Al Jazeera journalists detained in that country since last year, a statement says.

Al Jazeera Media Network said on Friday that the verdict in Misr’s case was scheduled to be announced on Friday, but the court postponed the sentencing until 2 February.

The journalists are accused of broadcasting without permission, but Al jazeera maintains it is operating legally.

Reports say Egypt has long accused Al Jazeera of bias in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohammed Morsi. But so far its crackdown on the network has mostly targeted its Arabic service and a local branch focusing on Egypt coverage.

Al Jazeera demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the five journalists and expressed disappointment at the manner in which they were being treated.

A spokesperson for Al Jazeera said: "By continuing to hold our journalists, the Egyptian authorities are attempting to silence us and to disable our role as a media organisation.  We condemn the allegations directed at our staff by Egyptian authorities which are aiming to stigmatise us, and further incite violence against our journalists working on the ground.  This is all part of a larger antagonistic campaign against us."

Aggressive actions by Egyptian authorities against Al Jazeera Media Network include the arrest of journalists, confiscation of equipment and jamming of satellite signals.

- News24


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