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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  August 29, 2015 5:00am-5:31am EDT

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>> put is simply for the viewers. what does it mean to be accredited in another country? >> to get the official sanction from the government. we always seek to get accreditation. it is a bureaucratic issue. sometimes it can take time. journalists coming in and out of countries, it does take time. >> we'll leave it there for now. thank you very much. thank you. okay. let's get the latest from camal. he's been following the story the last half hour, 40 minutes. what are they saying? >> exploding on social media. we have to ramp up the free aj stuff hashtag. we thank you for that. let's bring up the map first of all. oh, dear. just stand by.
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my technology is not quite where i wanted it to be. and it's coming. apologies for that. again, the free aj stuff hashtag at the moment, it's strong and good. it's strong in australia, it's strong throughout britain and europe in the middle east as well. even if i move over here, in the united states as well. it is 5:00 in morning on the east coast, 2:00 in the morning on the west coast. i'm pleased to say that. we are not happy with what's happened in the verdict, but at least you are all talking about it. as i go to the next graph, follow the hashtag. this is a snapshot of the last week. come in with me here. a total audience receiving free aj tweets. we see the map and where it's
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trending. on the globe graph, i don't know if we can see here, this is the last week and the serve and popularity of the aj stuff, free aj. you see on this graph, this is sunday last week, moving up to a big spike here telling us that we are looking at about, and this is a word which we use in social meed yeah media, how mane lines, that yellow line is telling us 10 million people are possibly able to view the free aj stuff hashtag with tweets today of upwards of 1500. i will expect that to become a lot more as well. when i was last up here, i was asking for your opinions because we want to hear them. i do want to share a few of them just with you now quickly. if we come in here. james martin tweeted, peter spoke beautifully, deflated but
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from the heart. how can you react, first shock, then emptiness, then anger, where is the rationality in this. and christian who is reporting from the court talks about mohamed fahmi's wife. they got married a short time ago. i just got married. i didn't get to enjoy it with mohamed. a couple more comments to bring you. the lawyer for mohamed fahmi has said that she and the canadian ambassador are seeking immediate deportation. that has come from someone in the courtroom. and another from the managing director of al jazeera, he's the acting director general of the entire al jazeera media network says this court verdict defies logic and common sense. there is so much stuff coming in at the moment and it is all, i
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would say, universal anger. it's a big thing to talk about things being universal. i feel there is outright condemnation of what has happened here. we'll wring up the website, our on-line team will be working hard to update things for you during the day. that's got all the background information if you wanted any more information about the trial. i will be back later on. >> now the judge in the retrial of the three al jazeera journalists has found the men guilty. they have been in court accused of colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. their colleague, peter, deported on february 1 after 400 days behind bars was retried in
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abstentia. >> they hoped this would mark the end of a long ordeal. it began in december 2013 when the they were arrested and charged with aiding the outlawed muslim brotherhood. they spent more than a year with brief and confusing appearances in court. legal experts said the trial was a farce. it provoked an outpouring of support from journalists. that didn't stop the court. the verdict provoked international outrage. >> the issue of the al jazeera journalists in egypt, we have been clear publicly and privately they should be
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released. >> they overturned the verdict and ordered a retile. diplomatic pressure did pay off earlier this year. he made a an emotional return to australia. but this has cast a shadow over him. >> remember, there was no more evidence that the prosecutor was able to present in this trial than the first. it's quite clear that we were not involved with any of the things that the prosecutor accused us of. we weren't involved with terrorism. we had no connections with the muslim brotherhood beyond the work of normal journalists. >> they have been releasedded on bail. it was a chance to make up for lost time with a young family. speaking before this latest verdict, he said his struggle was part of a greater battle for freedom of expression. >> i don't hope anything. i'm just living day by day.
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peter will understand this. i don't hope anything, i don't expect anything. i know i will continue to fight even if i was akuwaited or not. i will continue to fight for press freedom and for those behind bars who are in need for our support and help. >> he's a victim of egypt's poor relations. he's taking legal actions accusing it of negligence. it will plan on fighting for the al jazeera three and other al jazeera employees. let's take a listen into some of the judges comments that were heard in court. >> translator: the court is quite sure that the defendants are not journalists and not in the journalist syndicate.
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they have broadcasting without permits. they aired the video that isn't allowed to work inside egypt. >> we have former editor of the newspaper in egypt and joins me now on the set. outrage fairly well sums up the reaction to this verdict. what are your thoughts on it? >> well, i believe that, yeah, it makes very much sense for the people to be outraged. it's not enough. i don't believe that rage is enough to deal with the situation we are facing here. rage and outrage are definitely not enough. but let me point out that was mentioned in the course of the
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judge's explanation of landing such verdict on the defends because i haven't heard that part the first time. i learned that one of the explanations for the judge to land such harsh verdict is according to what he said, that the defends violated the law by practicing journalism without being members of the press syndicate. let me explain something both for the judge and for the public. the egyptian press syndicate doesn't accept membership except from the journalists who work for the print media. not the tv, not the radio. so it's only the print. so how those journalists who just happened to be all tv journalists were supposed to be
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members of the egyptian press syndicate. there is no such thing for the journalists who work for the tv and radio in egypt. i guess this is one of the things, one of the flagrant, flagrant examples of how verdicts are being given in egypt. i believe that the judge should have studied more the law of the press syndicate in egypt before he pronounced the verdict. >> this almost, when you explain it like that and we get the background to it, it almost ridicules the egyptian judiciary because you think, well, it's an excuse that's being used, but like you say, the knowledge of the finer detail, really, the judge should have been aware of. >> i don't want to go that
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track, because i believe that they are very knowledgeable, very much knowledgeable and they know what they are doing. and i wouldn't even call it excuse. i would say pretext. because when you use this as a pretext, you are doing that willingly more than unwillingly. i don't want to go that track of ridiculing our judiciary in egypt. but i would say it again. i appeal to the egyptian judiciary. politics, they don't stay, they come and go. but the law is the one that stay. so please, stick to the law. and forget about politics. >> is this the first time that we have heard the suspects of the charge, when you just explained it to us in terms of membership of the egyptian press syndicate. this is the first time we are hearing about this in the full
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time line of this case? >> well, during the first trial i have never heard about this membership of the press syndicate. maybe it was mentioned, but i have never heard of it. i doubt that it was mentioned. i believe that they were trying to recall many reasons and more reasons for a conviction. unfortunately, the one that they based, would b, one of the mains they try to base the verdict, it's bogus one, it doesn't exist. how come, how the judge expect the tv journalist to be members of the press syndicate when it only accept print journalists. >> do you think the judge was under pressure to find them guilty at any cost then?
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>> i guess there are certain things that cannot be pronounced. certain things that could be read. >> care to elaborate on that at all? >> you see, i feel bad for our judiciary. i'm proud of being an egyptian. i have been proud of our judiciary. i don't want to go further in talking negatively about our judiciary. but again, out of respect, out of respect, i appeal to them to stick to the law and forget about the politics. personally, personally, as a person, i feel angry. i am angry. >> what's the likelihood they will reform, correct where things are going wrong? >> when you say that, are you
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talking about the case, this specific case? >> you say that you are proud about the egyptian judiciary. and something has clearly gone wrong here. what's the likelihood of that being corrected? >> if it was just an exceptional thing, yes. it could be easily corrected, but we are talking about a pattern, almost a pattern during the last two years. i guess it takes time and it takes tremendous effort and, as i mentioned during our first interview, it takes first and foremost political reform. politics have been murdered in egypt. >> when you say political reform, what do you imagine that to be in practical terms? >> as i said before, democracy. democracy is the only guarantee to separate between the powers. true democracy. and true representation.
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i'm talking about a democratically elected parliament that overseas the government. nothing, nobody has overseen nobody in egypt anymore. >> democracy and a changed political reform in egypt would mean a change of the current government then, in your view? >> are you talking about the government or are you talking about the regime? not necessarily. even the leadership, in spite of the fact they have been terrible violations, human rights violation, i believe it's never late. it's never too late even the prisons leadership can start a real reform. but i don't know. i mean, i believe that the more violations happens and take place, the more difficult for
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the prison leadership to start such reform. let's just hope. >> we'll leave it there. thank you very much. thank you for your contribution. sharif is a correspondent for democracy he joins me on the phone from cairo. so your reaction to the sentencing? unfortunately seems we don't have this line. while we get that line back up, let me just remind you what we have. mohamed fahmi has been sentenced to three years. peter who is currently in sydney, deported a year ago, he has been sentenced for three years. mohamed also three years with an additional six months for an alleged charge of ownership of a
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bullet. so that was the verdict, the sentence that was handed down some one and a half hours ago in cairo on the three al jazeera journalists. earlier we spoke to, actually, before we do that, we are joined on the line by a human rights activist in cairo. what do you think about this sentence, this verdict? >> just confirmed where we are going. we are [indiscernible] you cannot operate as an independent journalist. you cannot work independently as a journalist. >> so you cannot operate as a journalist in egypt. what do you think this means? do you think anybody can be done
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to change it? is this a terrible indictment? >> we, unfortunately, documenting over 650 violations while observing the trial [indiscernible] a lot of issues in the trial. although the proceedings went according to the law, the sentence itself is illogical. the sentence does not reflect the evidence that was shown in the trial. it's, again, a lack of [indiscernible] an issue that the government has with al jazeera. >> this is just not about al jazeera. there were a number of other, numerous journalists who are currently residing in egypt's jails who are not facing trial,
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they haven't even been given a trial date. >> that's correct. >> given that fact and the fact that he pushed through the new terrorism law and there is now a change to how journalists can operate within the country, what do you think is going to happen next? >> not be surprised any more sentenced to prison in egypt. not surprised when they are banned from doing their job. they are being destroyed, the newspaper is printed, media is not allowed to operate freely. this is not surprise. shouldn't be surprised two years ago. but now to anybody, our current government in egypt does not want journalists to operate
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freely. [indiscernible] >> we have heard from a number of contributors. the world of journalism needs international pressure. is that enough or does there have to be a lot more that takes place within egypt itself? >> i think they have given a lot of credit. we have sentence of seven years in the first trial. the he retrial happened quickly. and now we have lower sentences. still the problem is [indiscernible] the government does not want to offer. still i think wants [indiscernible]. >> okay.
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we'll leave it there for now. earlier we spoke to al jazeera's peter gresta. he gave us his reaction. >> i won't be able to appeal because i have to be physically present to lodge an appeal. but we will explore any other legal avenues we have open to us. the fact is that this is wrong. this is unjust. this is unethical, this is immoral on so many levels. this cannot be allowed to stand. so we will do everything we can to fight the verdict, to clear our names. we are not terrorists, we did not collude with any organization. we did not broadcast any false news. so at every level in terms of the liberty of my colleagues, we have to keep fighting. the problem for me though, in fact, indeed, for all of the other journalists, the other
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people convicted in the first trial. they can only be counted if we are in prison to serve the time. so for my colleagues, the time will run down as long as they are in prison. god forbid they have to spend that time in prison. for the rest of us, the convicts stands. now, if egypt issues international arrest warrants, as is standard under these circumstances, it means i won't be able to travel to any country that has an extr an an extradit. this is a judgment that is not based on evidence, period. anyone who watched the trial and we had many people broadcasting or reporting on the trial throughout, we had an international diplomat observing
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the trial. we had independent observers monitoring the trial. none saw any evidence to substantiate the allegations. so we needles to kale on international pressure on governments and diplomats to make it clear to egypt that it cannot make these kinds of judgments, it cannot be allowed to get away with this. it must accept the rule of law if it's going to get international support. >> peter speaking earlier, giving us help action to the verdict. giles is the managing acting director for al jazeera english. this is what he said a short time ago. >> shocked, sickened, appalled. they were arrested on false charges. they are convicted without a shred of evidence. they were imprisoned for over a year. it's disgrateful, we are shocked. >> what next for the three men? >> we led a successful, at least
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in terms of publicly sizing the case, campaign and free al jazeera staff. and we will escalate that campaign. the campaign drew a lot of support from world leaders, diplomats, human rights groups and generally people around the world. we will seek to escalate that campaign. if i can use the words of a famous american journalist who spoke years ago, accusation is not proof. and conviction depends on evidence and due process of law. we will not walk in fear and we will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. >> there have been questions as to whether al jazeera could have done more to get them released. could al jazeera have done more? >> the safety and well being of our staff is of paramount importance. we launched this international campaign to have them freed.
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we paid the legal costs, medical costs, we have paid bail, we continue to pay their salaries, we are doing our utmost to support them and get their release. >> what does al jazeera make of the state of journalism in egypt at the moment in terms of the new press freedom laws? what's your take on that? what does it mean for country? >> what we are seeing here is a totalitarian regime passin. journalists can be fined if they don't toe the government line. what we are seeing, it goes back to what we believe is at the heart of this case. it's about media freedom and we want to shout about the right to report freely and fairly without harassment, without being intimidated, without being arrested, without being imprisoned, without being
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attacked. that's the essence of what this is all about. >> so that was the reaction from al jazeera. what's the reaction on the world of social media? >> very big. i want to just take us back in time a little bit. i saw a little bit of perspective time might be useful for us here. as i thought about this picture, it's going to work this time, there you go. that was this news room. can we get a closeup? that was this news room on february 27 of 2014. 18 months ago. we all stood as one and said journalism is not a crime and free aj stuff. it is hard to believe that we are back here 18 months ago and having to shout that because of this retrial. now, you have been shouting it as well. i want to read some of your comments. let me show you this tweet which came from sid in the united
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states. i will read it to you. my anger doesn't do how i feel justice. boycott egypt and pressurize the united states to withdraw economic and military support. he's joined twitter specifically to say that. that's what we want, more people engaging in the free aj stuff movement, if i can call it that. let me show you another couple of things. let's continue to escalate the campaign in response to the unfortunate verdict. i couldn't agree with you more. this from a cartoonist, based here in doha. he's done us a cartoon. predicting the president as the pharaoh and the person coming up here saying pharaoh, let my people go. if you are doing things like this, please send them into me. i want more of your reaction.
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more reaction from court. we can't have our teams to monitor what's happening there. but i have seen this, again, we have got mohamed fahmi's wife who said, quote, my life is destroyed. mohamed's life is destroyed. you can understand the sentiment there. and one more, a correspondent who is reporting from egypt as well. this is unconfirmed by us. she spoke to fahmi's brother who told her they have a year and ten months left to serve. they were taken to jail, no one got to say goodbye. on the face of that tweet it sounds like the sentences which were handed down today would be including what time has already served in jail. unconfirmed, but that's what we are hearing from a journalist that's been at the court and reporting on this. another look at the map and stats, this is your work.
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the more you retweet free aj stuff, the more you retweet it, the higher this gets. this is showing the last five days trending. it's jumped right here, obviously today. upwards of 7 or 8 million impressions on twitter. that's when a tweet with free aj stuff drops into your time line. we want to drive that up again. make sure we don't have too many periods where it's bubbling along here. we want to keep the pressure up. the last thing i will show you is the map. the map, i keep coming back to you, this tells you the global picture. look how much it keeps growing. europe, the united kingdom, strong in kenya because that's where peter was based before he went to equip. theregypt.this is where it bega.
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colleagues began that in january of 2014. it's strong in australia here as well as you might expect where peter was from and through the middle east as well. not as strong in egypt but through the gulf and africa. that's your work. we need you to keep doing that. we need you to keep tweeting it as much as possible. hop on twitter, hop on facebook, whatever you want to do and tweet free aj stuff. we have addresses for you to have a look at.


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