“The Global Day of Action” was initiated by Al Jazeera who has its journalist Abdullah Al Shamy, bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, producer Baher Mohamed and award-winning Peter Greste detained in Egyptian prisons.
“The Global Day of Action is about the freedom of the press, it is about objective reporting and to ensure journalists cannot be gagged or silenced,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
People expressed solidarity and support by tweeting photos of themselves holding signs saying #FreeAJStaff and “Journalism is not a crime,” whilst having their mouths taped shut.
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Egypt’s press freedom significantly deteriorated in 2013. 60 journalists have been imprisoned since former President Mohamed Morsi was forced to leave office in July, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports.
The country has on a regular basis imprisoned journalists on the allegations of “terrorism” activity. Many journalists are accused of having had contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was labelled a terrorist organization in December.
According to CPJ, Egypt was the third deadliest country for a journalist in 2013 and has for the first time been one of the 10 country’s listed on the organisation’s Risk List, which is registering the ten countries with the most worsening press freedom.
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