To mark 300 days since the arrest of Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste, Al Jazeera aired a special 300 second montage live on TV and online on Friday, 24 October 2014 to mark the key dates since the arrest and subsequent trial and sentencing.
Each second was equal to one day of 300 the three men have spent behind bars. Al Jazeera English aired the 300-days montage at 1800 GMT and have offered it to all media outlets to stand in solidarity with the three men.
The parents of Peter Greste have once again spoken of their hope that along with Mohamed and Baher, he will be freed. Juris and Lois Greste told Al Jazeera that for the past 300 days their life has been overtaken by the commitment to see that their son will be freed. Juris said, “We really haven’t had another life this year. It has been campaigning from morning until night, from Friday to next Friday.”
Both parents have visited Peter in Egypt after he, along with his colleagues, the Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, were convicted in June of aiding terrorism and spreading false news that portrayed Egypt as being in a state of “civil war.” Greste and Fahmy received seven-year terms, while Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years, in a case that sparked international outrage.
Juris told Al Jazeera that Peter was upbeat when they visited him: “He was very strong, remaining strong really, and doing everything that he could to keep himself physically, mentally and spiritually altogether. I am optimistic and I have faith in the Egyptian highest judicial process in achieving a fair and just decision.”
The Egyptian court will be convening on 1 January 2015 to see whether the appeals against their convictions are considered. The hearing will look at the process behind the original trial, a process that Al Jazeera has always stated has been flawed, and is the basis of the appeal. The network hopes the three will be set free, though a retrial could also be ordered.
Calls for the release of Al Jazeera staff have previously been made by the White House, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the European Union, the Australian Government and over 150 rights groups, including Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Press Institute.
Over 200,000 people have signed petitions globally, including two petitions signed by 150,000 people presented to the Egyptian Vice Counsel in Sydney by Australia’s leading journalists.
Similarly public calls of support for the release of the journalists has occurred throughout the social media campaign #FreeAJStaff, with over 137,000 people who have shared their support on Twitter, reaching 112 million people, and delivering over 2 billion impressions.
Watch and embed the 300-seconds of silence at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJsVIfoPyiU.
For more information, please log onto www.aljazeera.com/freeajstaff.
1. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for all requests and enquiries.
2. A copy of the 300 day montage is available upon request along with interviews with Lois and Juris Greste.
You can watch and embed yesterday’s 300s of silence clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJsVIfoPyiU