Monday marks Day 100 since three Al Jazeera journalists were first detained in an Egyptian jail. To protest their long stay behind bars, journalists from the BBC and other international media outlets are joining Al Jazeera in protesting the detention — both in the streets and through social media. As of Monday afternoon, #FreeAJStaff has been trending on Twitter, and supporters from around the globe are joining in.
According to The Independent, several journalists and media advocates protested outside the BBC building in London, where many of the attendees held posters with the words "Journalism is not a crime" and had black tape over their mouths as a symbolic statement. Columbia Journalism School in New York City is also holding an event, and Al Jazeera will hold a press conference at the Paley Center for Media 60 blocks away. Even outlets who didn't hold events showed their support over the web, such as BBC Moscow.
As Bustle reported, the three journalists were detained for "broadcasting false news" that allegedly put Egypt in danger. Their names are Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed. Egyptian authorities are also accusing them of being in contact with members of the Muslim Brotherhood (their status as journalists appeared to be irrelevant.) Besides the three journalists, another Al Jazeera staff member, Abdullah Al Shamy, has been detained because he allegedly protested in Cairo months ago.
You can take a look at some of the tweets with the hashtag #FreeAJStaff below, including photos of journalists protesting:
Here's what Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English, had to say in a statement.
Mohamed, Baher, and Peter have now been behind bars in Egypt for 100 days for simply doing their job, and for carrying out the highest quality journalism. The charges against them are false and baseless, so there is no justification whatsoever in the detention of innocent journalists for such an outrageous amount of time. We continue to call for their immediate release and for the release of our colleague from Al Jazeera Arabic, Abdullah Al Shamy, who has been behind bars for 236 days.