Egypt’s Lack of Democratic Values

02egypt-articleLargeOn Thursday, three journalists working for Al Jazeera’s English-language network were ordered a retrial ain Egypt after a sham proceeding in which they were given between 7-10 years in prison for “…conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false reports.” The reason for this is two-fold:

1) Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, like all new strongmen, wants to possess as much control over the press as he can. He is afraid that a currently tumultuous political climate may sweep him out of power just as quickly as it brought him in. This is why the three were arrested in the first place.

2) Al-Jazeera is based in Qatar, a state that has long shown favor towards the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. But the Brotherhood was also former President Mohamed Morsi’s movement, who was brought in after democratic elections that resulted from the Arab Spring. Now since the ouster of Morsi, and the installation of el-SiSi, Al-Jazeera has been leading a critical viewpoint against el-SiSi for the last 18 months. But under pressure from Egypt, the Saudis, and the UAE, Qatar has put an end to its anti-el-SiSi campaign. Therefore these latest events may lead to the release of the three A-Jazeera reporters as a quid pro quo for the less critical look at el-SiSi.

So all in all, these three men were fulfilling their obligations to the essential ingredient of a functioning democracy, namely, the freedom of the press. We cannot make informed decisions without the information pertaining to the matter at hand.

The Mid-East region demanded more rights in the streets and squares just a few years ago and yet these events come right out of the old ways.

Also, for more on this cause, checkout the website for the CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) where you can find a good graphic entitled “2014 prison census: 220 journalists jailed worldwide.” It is a worldwide map of states currently imprisoning journalists with the offending countries highlighted and the number of prisoners being held. The page also includes some good charts and even a listing, nation by nation, of each journalist known two be serving time their.

 

 

 

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Two Challenges for Al-Jazeera America

Screen-Shot-2013-08-20-at-4.03.54-PMA short, yet good, post on The Post’s “World Views” blog by Mike Fischer proposing what he thinks will be the two major challenges for Al-Jazeera America as it debuts (earlier today at 3:00pm) on what was Current TV.

Read Here.

Greenwald On Al Jazeera America

al-jazeera-america-carousel-largeA MUST-READ op-ed from Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian on the upcoming launch of al Jazeera America  (AJAM). He questions whether if AJAM will keep it’s role as a hard-hitting,elite-critical perspective provider, or if  they will just fall in line with the other three cable news stations where there is no room for it ideologically (Fox is on the right; MSNBC is on the left; and CNN is somewhere in the middle).

Also, who knew that both Soledad O’Brien and Ali Velshi will be on AJAM? I didn’t. That may lend the falsely accused “pro-terrorist” and “anti-American” news channel some real clout.

Read Here.