Al Jazeera English has condemned the release of a video showing the arrest of their journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Bahar Mohammed in Cairo last month.
Shown on an Egyptian channel last night, the raid on their hotel rooms is accompanied by a sinister musical score. The network says that the leak and dramatisation of the footage betrays an attempt to demonise the journalists, and is the latest incident of incitement against the network. It could also prejudice the trial that the Egyptian authorities say they wish to pursue.
Salah Negm, director of news for Al Jazeera English, says, “If this video was deliberately leaked, it violates basic standards of justice. If it came out by mistake, the professionalism of the prosecution process is called into question.
“The video ridiculously sets images of our crew’s laptops, cameras and mobile phones against dramatic music. People who look beyond the propaganda though will see the video shows what we have been saying all along – that our crew were journalists doing their job.
“They were also not operating in Cairo secretly. The team openly filed several packages and live reports prior to their arrest. This is not an issue of accreditation. Them not having full paperwork from the authorities in no way justifies their ongoing incarceration and treatment. They should be released forthwith. “
Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr’s Mohamed Badr and Al Jazeera Arabic’s Abdulla Al Shami have been held since July and August 2013 respectively.