Skip to main content

tv   Fault Lines  Al Jazeera  February 12, 2015 7:00am-7:31am EST

7:00 am
it's conceivable that the mission is completed earlier. >> two al jazeera jury roomies who spent 411 days in jail in egypt are released on bail. >> hello, we have the world news here at al jazeera. also to come, a breakthrough on the ukraine crisis, warring parties agree to a ceasefire after hours of tough negotiations. >> greeks stick to their guns over debt terms at talk with their e.u. creditors fail to make headway. >> the korean air executive who
7:01 am
flew into a rage over a packet of nuts has been found guilty of violating aviation safety. >> first the judge in the retrial of two al jazeera journalists has released them on bail. mohamed fahmy and baher mohammed will now be freed after 411 days in detention in cairo. they had been in court on the first day of their retrial accused of colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. they both deny the charges. their colleague was freed and deported on february 1. he'd spent 400 days behind bars, they're trial will resume february 23. we have a report. >> al jazeera english's cairo bureau chief mohamed fahmy and producer baher mohammed were arrested september 29, 2013.
7:02 am
initially it was believed to be temporary and based on accreditation problems. within days, egypt's top prosecutor announced they were held on terror-related charges. the journalist and al jazeera network rejected the charges of aiding the muslim brotherhood. so did the global media community. protestors around the world demonstrated in solidarity with the three men. when the trial began in february the three pleaded not guilty. the proceedings were ridiculed by legal experts around the world. evidence presented by the prosecution included footage from a different channel. music found on the journalists lap tops and some of peter's work in africa. the verdict was guilty, six our colleagues sentenced to 10 years in prison in absend shis that.
7:03 am
criticism came from the corridors of power around the world. >> the issue of the al jazeera journalists in egypt we've been clear both publicly and privately that they should be released. >> yet the men had to wait seven months before the case was reviewed. the original trail was found to have failed to find a link to the muslim brotherhood the court order add retrial. the three men had been in jail for over a year. a new decree by president al sisi offered new hope for two of the men. greste and australian and foam familiar were available to apply, not baher mohammed. on february 1, peter greste was freed on his 400th day in detention. met by his relieved family, his unconditional release was tinged with sadness and frustration.
7:04 am
>> amidst all of this relief, i still feel a sense of concern a real sense of worry because if it's appropriate for me, right for me to be free, then it's right for all of them to be free. >> peter's release raised expectation that is fahny's freedom was innocent. it became clear he would stand alongside baher mohammed in court. for now they're back at home with their families. >> baher mohammed is an egyptian journalist working as a producer in our cairo bureau at the time of his arrest. the 30-year-old began his career as a researcher and producer for the japanese channel. he worked extensively in libya during the revolution. he missed the birth of his third child while in prison. he was born in august of 2014.
7:05 am
now to mohamed fahmy he's an award winning canadian egyptian journalist who was our bureau chief in cairo at the time of his arrest in december, 2013. prior joining al jazeera he worked for the new york times c.n.n. and national committee of the red cross. the 40-year-old holds degrees from montreal's lasalle college and vancouver city university. he's an accomplished author. he's written a book about his time working as an interpreter and journalist in iraq and co written a book on the 2011 egyptian revolution. during his imprisonment in cairo, he got engaged to his girlfriend, and they hope to marry soon. >> mohamed fahmy's brother has been speaking to journalists after the court broke up. >> following everything, egyptian law and i'm sure he's bin vicinity indicated liable
7:06 am
and complete vindicated when this case false apart completely. everything was possible. we wanted to keep ourselves not too excited and just expect, wanted to expect the worst but we got something so... >> already let's get reaction then from sean mccarthy, president of the canadian committee for word press freedom. he's on the line now from ottawa. can i get your reaction then? it must be good news for you, as well. >> well, i think it's wonderful news for the families of the two men, and for them, obviously themselves. yes, we're happy to see him out of prison. it remains to be seen what happens next, just from the clip we heard from his brother. it sounds like he will not be leaving the country but we don't know that, so yes it's certainly a nice break for them to be free for the first time in 14 months. >> indeed, but their fight still
7:07 am
rests in the hands of the egyptian judiciary. how have you been assessing the information rewarding the fact that mohamed fahmy seem to have felt compelled to renounce the egyptian part of his dual nationality? >> we have seen in canada the land of immigrants and we've seen a number of cases where dual nationals have been in trouble in the other country and their canadian citizenship really didn't mean very much. it didn't surprise me when that was a huge complicating factor. there has been some questions as to whether it took the canadian government a little longer to get involved because of it, but from what we see more recently, the canadian government and prime minister harper have been fairly active responding to
7:08 am
calls from mohamed fahmy's family to get involved, and we understand that they have been involved this week, and whether that played any role in their release, we don't know, but it was good to see them at least take up the charge. >> yes indeed. it did seem as if there was a lot more energy being applied to mohamed fahmy's case after he denounced the egyptian side of his dual nationality. it was the prime minister that was tweeting profusively early on. >> that's right. they've been involved at the consular level the diplomatic level. what we really wanted and what mohamed fahmy wanted was to have it elevated to the political level and the foreign minister had been active, but to get the prime minister active and again we're told that there was some behind the scenes attempt to get
7:09 am
a phone call between the prime minister and president al sisi, and again it's not clear to me at least as to whether that had any impact on the decision, but we'll take the decision, and hopefully, the court will find them innocent and release both men. i mean, the concern was yes it would have been great to get mohamed fahmy out of egypt and safe as it was with peter greste but we were concerned about baher mohammed being left behind too and once the foreign nationals were gone, what kind of fate was in store for him so i know everybody wanted mohamed fahmy out of the country very quickly but maybe the best thing would be for him to be out of jail, and we can hope that the court overturns the verdict and both men of freed.
7:10 am
>> ok, thank you very much, sean mccarthy, president of the canadian committee for word press freedom talking to us live from canada. >> we can talk to mr. robinson live from london. how does bail work in egypt? >> well, the egyptians have been given bail, and as has mr. fahmy, although he's had to put down what's called a reconnaissance some $40,000 will have to be deposited and i'm sure will be and he'll be reds. frankly, they should have gotten bail 407 days ago. this is still part of a cat and mouse game that the egyptian government and its mixed little judges are playing with innocent
7:11 am
journalists. and for all the nonsense that's been talked about diplomacy and canadian diplomats this case reveals the hopelessness of western diplomacy. they should have got their people out if diplomacy has any affect on a military and authoritarian regime, but of course it doesn't. what has happened is that the cat and mouse game has been effective, no one is covering the opposition in egypt because the media are afraid to do so, and so this goes on. the appeal court earlier this week said there was no evidence against mr. fally and mr. greste or mr. mohamed that they'd been involved in terrorist activities and so in consequence, the judges today should have logically required the prosecution to withdraw the case. instead, they've given them
7:12 am
bail which is a step forward that should have been taken 14 months ago and they have postponed the hearing until february 23. now, mr. fahmy's case is exactly the same as mr. greste. he is entitled in a sense to be deported and that should happen immediately, because there is no distinction and the case against mr. mohamed should are drop. 16 other journalists are in prison and no doubt thousands have been in prison simply for supporting the opposition. we still have the cat and mouse game being played successfully by an authoritarian government to chill freedom of speech, so good for mr. fahmy and mr. mohamed today because at least their out of prison. >> we'll be talking to one of
7:13 am
those other journalists in just a little while. i want your thoughts what we can expect then from february 23. >> well, one would hope that if there is any justice in egypt and there's precious little, that president al sisi, one would hope there would be better actions from canada than there have been so far that he would support the deportation of the canadian citizen -- >> i'm afraid the line to jeffery robinson seems to have gone away, but i think we got a gist really of what he was saying. al jazeera journalist who is very intimately involved in this whole case and so a ripple of excitement went through the newsroom when we heard the guys were left out on bail. >> this is the first time we've had since this awful process
7:14 am
began on 29 december, 2013, the first time the egyptian judicial system is recognizing at last that the convictions were unsteady and hopefully we're going to see the 23 of february, there may well be an acquittal. we were relieved to see the appeal ruling back in january that it didn't have a leg to stand on. i think i'm not really excited i'm relieved that the guys are going to get out and feel the sun on their faces and we hope now seeing the beginning of the end. >> there's been no mention so far of you and our other colleagues because of course you were sentenced in absentia. >> yes indeed, the egyptian legal opinion has always been to us that unless we go to egypt sentences don't start, they're just hanging over other head for the full 10 years. we can't be retried unless we're
7:15 am
on egyptian soil, that's been the only option, that i should go back to egypt. the prosecutor mentioned all the names of those convictions today, which we were surprised that and left us quite confused as to whether the end is in sight, hopefully the end of this retile comes that maybe our convictions might be quashed, as well but for the moment, that is the biggest. >> of course we've seen this campaign go completely global, haven't we, for the release of al jazeera journalist. how much damage do you think that been done to the reputation of egypt as a country in which to operate as a journalist, because so many of our colleagues will now think twice if not three times before they go on assignment there. >> i think it's fair to say that there's a lot of self censorship going on in egypt by our colleagues even if they are going in daring to cope with what is an enormous press crackdown there. i think it's very difficult to get a full picture really of what is going on in egypt at the
7:16 am
moment. certainly the domestic local press only reports what the government wants them to say. start the impact of the media campaign i guess we'll never know how much of an impact that that but certainly, the egyptians have been working really really hard to try to get their economy back up and running again the president was in davos for the economic forum they set up their own forum in march and the tourism minister have been trying to encourage people to go back on holiday there. these headlines with our guys bailed and hopefully with the eventual end of this saga can do inning but help egypt get back on its feet. >> thank you very much. >> we've got other news to come here at al jazeera including jail for the former airline executive who forced a jet to divert. she didn't like the way she'd been served her nuts. >> we'll take a dive to a coral reef and find out why its under
7:17 am
threat.
7:18 am
7:19 am
>> we've only got one big story at this hour, the fact that two al jazeera journalists who have been in jail 411 days in egypt have now been released on bail. their retrial resumes february 23. the judge granted bail to mohamed fahmy and the baher mohammed on the first day of the retrial taking applies in cairo. they denied colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. >> we can talk to a correspondent for democracy now
7:20 am
in cairo and i understand that you were in court. can you tell us about proceedings, what exactly happened? >> well, it was a tense day. this is the same courtroom let's remember, where these journalists were convicted in june and sentenced to 10 years in prison. the courthouse has been reconfigured since then, the cage where the defendants are forced to listen to the trial has been outstretched. it was a thick pain of glass and so journalists relatives could hardly see the defendants mohamed fahmy, baher mohammed and the others in the case were behind a thick wall of glass and we could hardly hear them, either. the proceedings were quite routine, the first roll call was made and we could hardly hear when the defendants were answering the judge's roll call. the judge did call for peter
7:21 am
greste, as well, who's name is apparently still in the case. peter greste, of course was deported last week under presidential decree that allow as president to deport foreign errs convicted of crimes. during the trial, mohamed fahmy the most poignant parts requested to address the court directly. he came out of the defendant's cage addressed the judge. he said that he was forced to give up his citizenship that a senior state official told him that he would be deported, that national tyree sides not only on a piece of paper but the heart and he did so with a heavy heart, not wanting to give up but did so on the hope that he would be treated equally as peter greste was that he would be deported and they had received news, he said from the canadian embassy and from other officials that he would be
7:22 am
deported. he said that his fiancee had bought tickets to leave. they were extremely disappointed upon hearing news of the retrial, yet today, it was a great moment of joy though, when the judge did grant bail, so it was a rare moment of joy in the egyptian courthouse. he granted all the defendants bail. their all released, but mohamed fahmy has to pay 255 egyptian pounds is the only one who has a bail. the court has adjourned to february 23. >> chance are you weren't able to get too much of a look, a real look at bar mohammed. you got to say mohamed fahmy. tell us how they looked to you. mohamed fahmy's arm was in a
7:23 am
sling. his arm was fractured from a briar injury what he was arrested and made worsened by the harsh terms of his imprisonment and he did not receive proper medical attention and is permanently disabled despite receiving one surgery. it's in a sling right now. i could hardly see mohamed behind the thick pane. his wife was in court today. this is the first session she was allowed to attend. in the original trial no family members were allowed to attend. the only way peter greste's family and baher mohammed's family was through the embassies respectively. this judge is more lenient in terms of these procedures and was allowing people in, so she was in the courtroom for the first time today. she broke out in tears upon hearing the news, and said the
7:24 am
first thing she would do was tell her children, her three young children, one of whom was born while he was behind bars. the family can be reunited again, and really, it was a rare moment of joy in egyptian courtroom, but i think it's important to note that they're not free, they are released on bail but the trial is continuing and the next session is on february 23. >> thank you very much, indeed, cherif for giving us shows invaluable details about what went on in court today because we aren't able to report from cairo so have to rely on the good will from our journalists and another one such colleague is cnn correspondent ian lee who joins us on the line now. ian, tell us your thoughts. you were in the court, as well, you saw our guys as bail was
7:25 am
granted to them. >> like you just heard, it was a scene of joy rare in an egyptian courthouse. i talked to marwa, mohamed fahmy's fiancee afterward and she was in shock. she said this is the beginning of the end of her nightmare. she has put her life on hold for the trial and it has been an emotional roller coaster for them. they are now planning their next step. bail was at 250,000 egyptian pounds which is ruffle $35,000 so they are going to try to post that bail. they expect to get mohamed out of the hospital or out of custody by tomorrow. they're plan to go help get this care he needs he has that injured shoulder that disabled him. he can barely lift his arm. he is also dealing with hepatitis c. these are serious medical issues
7:26 am
that they want to have addressed. talking to baher mohammed's wife, she was overenjoyed as she had another child while he was in custody. they are looking forward to having not even a reunion, a meeting, initial meeting of father and child. they're excited for that to happen too. as this is going forward this case is not over yet. they could still be found guilty. i talked to mohamed's brother about will they try to stay in egypt or try to go to canada. he said they're going to obey egyptian law. if they can get the permission to leave the country, then they're going to leave the country, but if that's not the case then they will ride out this case, as well for baher mohammed as we know, he does not have dual nationality and will be attending the trial on february 23. >> can i ask you ian having
7:27 am
observed this process that is being largely leveled against the high profile journalist of al jazeera and indeed, other local journalists how is this affecting the way you approach doing your job in egypt? >> when it comes to reporting in egypt, i think, you know, there is a lot of differences between organizations that -- that come into play here, as well for being based in the united states and being based in qatar. there has been accusation that is there was a political trial a tit for tat between egypt and qatar. for us, it has reporting in egypt has been difficult during these transitional years these
7:28 am
past four years. the rules have not been as firm as we've seen before, so really, it is trying to feel out this new environment that egypt is. >> thank you very much indeed for giving us yet more details of how our journalists fared today in an egyptian court. >> we're going to move on to other news now and the another major story of course is the ceasefire announcement for eastern ukraine. leaders from france, germany and russia have been holding talks in minsk. that ceasefire is due to start in three days time and heavy weapons are to be withdrawn. another big story is of course greek hopes to revise its debt terms. they haven't made much headway so far in talks with its european ministers in brussels. they meet again monday.
7:29 am
>> no aggressive movers on our part, we are simply asking for time and be given a chance to agree with our partners the fact that we have a freshman date doesn't give us the right to do whatever we want, but does give us a right to be heard. >> it was my ambition to agree on the steps to take next couple of days, so we could spend them well and make more progress between now and monday. unfortunately, weaver not been able to do that, so we will continue our talks on monday and move on from there. >> in south korea a former airline executive has been jailed for a year over a bag of nuts. are argued with a korean air steward about serving nuts in a big instead of a plate. the jet was forced to return to the terminal. the steward said the daughter of
7:30 am
the korean air charman treated the flight crew like slaves. you will find more on our top stair, the release on bail of our two al jazeera journalists from cairo on our website aljazeera.com. a show about innovations that can change lives. the science of fighting a humanity and we are doing it in a unique way. this is a show about science by scientists. let's check the team of hardcore nerds. specialising in ecology and revolution. tonight the green game. san francisco's new stadium has

18 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on