Jun 27, 2014

Follow Friday: @courtneyr and @pressfreedom, fighting for Greste and others

When it comes to press freedom, the Peter Greste case is only the tip of the iceberg, says Courtney Radsch from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Matthew Clayfield

Journalist, critic, screenwriter and playwright

When an Egyptian court convicted Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed this week on trumped up charges and with no evidence against them worth the name, the internet, quite rightly, exploded. Twitter, in particular, quickly became a hotbed of outrage, with journalists all over the world expressing their solidarity with a series of hashtags — “#FreeAJStaff”, “#journalismisnotacrime” — visual memes and online petitions. Courtney Radsch (@courtneyr), advocacy director for the Committee to Protect Journalists (@pressfreedom), put the verdict, the online reaction to it and its consequences for foreign and local reporters into context.

“These convictions are highly politicised and are wrapped up in the geopolitics of the region,” Radsch told Crikey, “specifically the conflict between Egypt and Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera, over support for the Muslim Brotherhood. CPJ is seriously concerned about the chilling effect that such a politicised ruling has for the press in Egypt as the country undergoes a critical transitional period.

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4 thoughts on “Follow Friday: @courtneyr and @pressfreedom, fighting for Greste and others

  1. AR

    Could this be the issue that show the Twits how irrelevant they are?

  2. Matthew Clayfield

    Believe me, AR, I did ask about the efficacy of Twitter-based activism, of which I tend to be as sceptical as yourself. But I think Radsch answered well.

  3. Courtney Radsch

    Thanks Kevin, Global Voices is one of my favorite citizen journalism platforms and they have great coverage of press freedom and human rights more generally.

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