Journalists who work for the Al Jazeera T.V. network are being charged with conspiring with a terrorist group and broadcasting inaccurate images of “a civil war that raises alarms about the state’s collapse.” by Egyptian prosecutors according to New York Times.
Al Jazeera has basically been the only major Arabic-language news outlet available in Egypt that will stand against the government. For this reason the government is considering those who work for this news outlet terrorists. ThePresident Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was exposed six months ago and since then the Egyptian government has been on a rampage to shut down any media outlets that have some sort of connection to either him or the Brotherhood. Private owned news organizations have been in support of this extreme crack-down from the government.
According to CNN, four of the men who were detained are not Egyptian natives. One of the correspondents is an Australian, Peter Greste, two are Englishmen who have yet to be identified and one is an unnamed Dutchman. Peter Greste of Australia has actually been able to reach out and have a letter released by Al Jazeera straight from his jail cell. How the network recieved this letter is unknown but he explains that he and the others
“had been doing exactly as any responsible, professional journalist would"
Greste believes were just another way for the Egyptian government to limit media freedoms. He also explains that the prisons have horrible conditions. They are denied rights that are given to all prisoners like visits from lawyers and in some cases are being locked in cells for 20-24 hours a day.
It is a true shame that these men were working to expose the truth as journalists but being considered terrorists by those in charge because they chose to speak out against the injustices in Egypt. This shows just how much power the government has over the media. While they may not be able to right out make laws banning media from going against them they can charge members of the media with bogus charges. Once those who want to expose the truth are placed in jail it becomes tougher for the truth to be told. Hopefully, these men return home safely and are able to continue to fight for justice and the truth.