Kenya journalists protest over detained colleagues

AP News
Posted: Jan 13, 2015 12:28 PM
Kenya journalists protest over detained colleagues

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A group of Nairobi-based journalists was ejected from a reception area at the United Nations complex in Kenya's capital on Tuesday after launching a protest over Al-Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt.

Egyptian Foreign minister Sameh Shukri was attending the reception.

About a dozen journalists were removed from the reception by U.N. security after waving placards written "#FREEAJSTAFF," with their mouths covered by black masking tape— symbolizing the muzzling of the press.

Three Al-Jazeera English journalists — Canadian-Egyptian Mohammed Fahmy, Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohammed — have been held for more than a year in Egypt on terror-related charges. The case has sparked widespread condemnation from international rights groups and other media outlets, who say the journalists have been unjustly jailed for doing their job.

Earlier this month, an Egyptian court ordered a retrial, after Greste and Fahmy had been sentenced to seven years in prison and Mohammed to 10 years last June. Greste's family said they have also applied for deportation.

Shoukry told The Associated Press Tuesday the retrial shows the capability of the Egyptian judicial system to address issues in an impartial and fair manner. He said he is in Kenya to strengthen economic and trade relations between the two countries, and to lobby for Egypt being a candidate for a non-permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council.