Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Journo held in Egypt defiant on press freedom

02 May 2014, 14:07

Sydney - Australian journalist Peter Greste on Friday said his detention and that of his Al Jazeera colleagues in an Egyptian jail had become a powerful symbol of press freedom worldwide.

In a statement from his prison cell on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, Greste said he was "deeply moved and strengthened" by the outpouring of support for his case, which has sparked international condemnation.

Now in his 125th day of detention, Greste has denied charges of spreading false news and supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood movement of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

"Our case has become emblematic of the freedom of the press worldwide," he said. Four journalists, including Greste, working for the pan-Arab news network are in custody in Egypt while several others have been tried in absentia.

"What began as a campaign to put down Islamic militancy has been extended to everyone who in the government's words spreads the ideology of terror.

"If by arresting us, the government sought to send a message to journalists both foreign and local working here, then the campaign for our release has sent an unequivocal response."

Fundamental truth

Greste said muzzling the press was "an abuse of basic universally accepted social rights and responsibilities - the right to speak freely and openly coupled with the media's responsibility to question, interrogate and challenge those in power".

"What often gets lost is the fundamental truth that the best defence against insecurity is a vibrant, open, noisy and yes at times even rabid press, willing to snap at the extremists with as much enthusiasm as tearing strips off the authorities."

He added that press freedom was now being defended "in a way that would have been unimaginable before our arrest".

The watchdog Freedom House said on Thursday that world press freedom has hit its lowest level in a decade after a regression in Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine, and US efforts to curb national security reporting.

The report found that the share of the world's population with media rated "free" was 14% in 2013, or only one in seven people.

A total of 44% of the world population lived in areas where the media was "not free" and 42% in places where it was "partly free", the Freedom of the Press 2014 report said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...