National Press Club

National Press Club Applauds Bail for Al Jazeera Journalists

February 2, 2015 | By John M. Donnelly | jdonnelly@cq.com

The National Press Club applauded an Egypt judge's decision to grant bail to two Al Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who have been held in jail for more than 400 days.

"Bail for these two journalists is a positive sign that Egypt may be listening to voices around the world," National Press Club President John Hughes said. "Egypt must now move to permanently free these men who were jailed merely for doing their jobs."

News reports said the two journalists were likely to be released within two days while the case against them continues. They had been arrested in December 2013 after being accused of providing assistance to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Following their convictions on June 23, 2014, Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian, and Australian Peter Greste were sentenced to seven years in prison. Egyptian Mohamed received a 10-year sentence. Egypt's Court of Cassation ordered a retrial of Fahmy and his two colleagues on Jan. 1, 2015. Greste was released nearly two weeks ago.

The National Press Club has called for the release of the journalists numerous times, including on Jan. 15, when President Myron Belkind made an appeal to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Belkind's last day in office.

The National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. Founded in 1908, it is located in Washington, D.C. Through its Press Freedom Committee, the National Press Club speaks out on behalf of press freedom and transparency worldwide.