Trade unions urge Egyptian prime minister to release Al Jazeera jailed journalists
Front left to right: Hatem Zakaria, Federation of Arab Journalists, Chris Warren, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance of Australia, Ibrahim Mahlab, prime minister of Egypt & Jim Boumelha, IFJ/NUJ - © IFJ
5 September 2014
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Federation of Arab Journalists have met the Egyptian 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 Monday 23 June 2014.
The union delegation included IFJ president and NUJ national executive member Jim Boumelha and IFJ former president and federal secretary of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance of Australia Christopher Warren (Peter Greste’s union).
Jim Boumelha said:
"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."
Christopher Warren pointed to the record of Peter Greste as an independent, ethical journalist and noted his respect among his peers. He said:
"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."
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"The meeting took place on the 250th day of detention and was a reminder to the world that we have not forgotten and we won't. We will continue to campaign for the release of our colleagues."