CPJ Presses Case With Egypt

Calls for president to release other journalists, investigate deaths

The Committee to Protect Journalists did not let any grass grow over its enthusiasm for Egypt's pardon of two journalists before pressing its case with the country over all the others who weren't.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Sept. 23 pardoned Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who had been sentenced and imprisoned for aiding a terrorist organization.

On Thursday (Sept. 24), CPJ sent a letter to el-Sisi talking about the "deteriorating climate" for press freedom in his country and, while praising the pardons, called for the release of all the others. "While we welcome the presidential pardon of the Al-Jazeera journalists on Wednesday, the reality remains that journalists are being arrested, harassed, and threatened in relation to their work at unprecedented levels in Egypt," CPJ said.

CPJ also wants investigation into at least 10 journalists killed in the country since the "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. It did point out that none of those killings had occurred since el-Sisi had taken office.