December 17, 2018

Press Freedom

Egypt

OPC Repeats Demand for Release of 3 in Egypt

Since December 29, 2013, authorities in Egypt have held three Al Jazeera journalists under detention allegedly for spreading falsehoods about the country and for being part of a terrorist organization. At the end of 2013, the Overseas Press Club of America issued an open letter demanding the immediate freedom of Cairo Bureau Chief Mohamed Fahmy, producer Baher Mohamed and correspondent Peter Greste. Since then, the OPC has learned of the conditions under which Fahmy is being held.

Fahmy, a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen is being kept in a windowless room without a bed in Cairo’s notorious Scorpion Prison. His pre-existing shoulder injury has been exacerbated by the arrest and incarceration but so far prison authorities have refused him medical assistance. They have also refused to deliver to Fahmy a sleeping bag and pillow delivered by his family. A family member who recently visited the prison says that Fahmy looked disoriented and struggled to recognize the visitor at first. Fahmy’s family fears he is being subjected to physical and psychological torture.

The OPC not reiterates its demand for the freedom of Fahmy and his colleagues but asks the Egyptian authorities and General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to make sure the detainees receive proper medical care and be accorded humane treatment amid this unjustifiable incarceration.