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Al Jazeera response to latest reports on detained journalists

By Kevin Kriedemann

Al Jazeera's Peter Greste's appeal against his ongoing detention without charge has been denied in a Cairo court.

Greste and Al Jazeera English's Baher Mohammed and Mohammed Fahmy; Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr's Mohammed Badr; and Al Jazeera Arabic's Abdulla Shami remain in detention in the Egyptian capital. None of them have been charged.

Media reports on Wednesday, citing a statement from the prosecutor's office, said 16 Egyptians would face trial for membership of "a terrrorist organisation" and that four foreigners, identified as Al Jazeera journalists, would be charged with aiding their activities.

While Al Jazeera's journalists have not officially been notified by the Egyptian authorities of developments in their case, Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed said, "The world knows these allegations against our journalists are absurd, baseless and false. This is a challenge to free speech, to the right of journalists to report on all aspects of events, and to the right of people to know what is going on. We will continue to pursue all avenues to get our journalists back, and are grateful for all the support we have received. It is clear this is not just Al Jazeera's campaign, but one taken on by all freedom-loving people around the world.”

Al Jazeera added that it had no knowledge of other people apparently being pursued by the authorities. The network currently has no journalists reporting in the country.

Journalists from the BBC, Sky News, and Daily Telegraph yesterday marked one month since the Al Jazeera trio were taken into custody. Video and text from the event in London can be found here: http://www.aljazeera.com/video/middleeast/2014/01/peter-greste-appeal-denied-egypt-20141299249627251.html.


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