Journalists' release but a first step, says rights group

The human rights group Liberty Victoria is overjoyed at the news of the release of two journalists from an Egyptian prison.

Al Jazeera staff Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy were pardoned by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and released from prison in Cairo yesterday.

Liberty President George Georgiou SC said today, “Images of the men being reunited with their families are deeply moving, and remind us of the importance of the fight against arbitrary politically motivated imprisonment of journalists.”

Liberty Victoria was proud to campaign on their behalf and recently presented Fahmy, Baher and their Australian colleague Peter Greste with the Voltaire Award for Free Speech. The most poignant moment of the evening came when Mr Georgiou read words of courage and determination written to Liberty by Fahmy from his prison cell.
“While we are immensely happy at today’s news, we remember that this is the first step in a long road,” said Mr Georgiou. “Today we learn of threats against bloggers and on-line activists across the world. Already one has been murdered.

“There remain dozens of journalists imprisoned in Egypt and across the globe, whose plights deserve every bit as much attention as those of Baher, Fahmy and Peter. We will not forget them, and we stand beside them.”

“While we wait to hear whether Peter will also be pardoned, we wish Fahmy, Baher and their families all the best for their joyful reunions and Eid Mobarak”.

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