John McCain urges Egypt to release Al Jazeera staff

Rebecca Hawkes | 25-01-2014

The detainment of Al Jazeera journalists by Egyptian authorities is a “clear violation” of human rights and freedom of the press, according to US Senator John McCain.

Speaking in Davos on 24 January, McCain said: “Al Jazeera has been chronicling events in Egypt, probably more intensely than any other world network. For the Egyptian Government to keep them in prison, I think it is another indicator that this military government, and that’s really what it is, is not keeping with the standards of international behaviour as we would expect."
Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Bahar Mohammed from Al Jazeera English have been held since 29 December 2013, while Mohamed Badr of Al Jazeera’s Egyptian channel Mubasher Misr, and Abdulla Al Shami from Al Jazeera Arabic have been jailed since July and August 2013 respectively.
“My message to the Egyptian Government, and I know these people, is and has been, if you want to be part of the community of nations and have our co-operation and assistance, then you cannot engage in practices such as the arbitrary imprisonment of members of the media,” added McCain.
The senator echoes calls for their release by journalists worldwide, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee for Protection of Journalists, and the International News Safety Institute.