National Press Club

National Press Club outraged by jail sentences for reporters in Egypt

August 29, 2015 | By John Donnelly |

The National Press Club president came out strongly against an Egyptian court’s sentencing on Saturday of three Al-Jazeera English reporters.

The court sentenced Peter Greste, Baher Mohammed and Mohammed Fahmy to three years in prison on charges that independent experts say are trumped up, including spreading "false news."

The three men were first detained in 2013. Greste was subsequently deported to Australia, while Mohammed and Fahmy were released on bail.

"The National Press Club is saddened and outraged by this verdict," said National Press Club President John Hughes. "We had hoped that Egypt was prepared to move on from attacking these journalists. Instead the message is loud and clear: in Egypt reporters are not free to do their jobs. That is tragic for a profession so vital to free speech and human rights."

At least 22 journalists are behind bars in Egypt, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Established in 1908, the National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. Through its Freedom of the Press Committee, the Club advocates for journalists under siege abroad and at home.