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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Journalist: Egypt cracking down on foreign media

February 7th, 2014
04:07 PM ET

Egyptian authorities have served the Al Jazeera network with a charge sheet identifying 20 people – all believed to be journalists – who they want to see stand trial for allegedly conspiring with a “terrorist group”.  Eight staff members are known to be on the list, three of those – Australian Peter Greste and Eygptians Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy – have been held in detention in Cairo since December 29.

Dutch journalist Rena Netjes is also on that list, despite never having worked for Al Jazeera.  She's the Egypt and Libya correspondent for BNR Nieuwsradio. She managed to flee Egypt with help from the Dutch Embassy and spoke to Becky about her ordeal.

She told Becky she met with the Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Famy once "not even for an interview, not even for a report, but just for my general knowledge... Now it seems that they believe that I work with Al Jazeera, that I provided them with money, with aid, with tools, with footage... and that I gave false information to defame the Egyptian state."

In a letter released from prison, Australian Peter Greste stated his arrest was an attack on media freedoms, and that "journalists are never supposed to become the story".

Becky asked Netjes about the Egyptian government's reasoning for such harsh action. "If I see it from the Egyptian point of view, they are in a state of war with extremists. The Egyptian army interfered because they did not want to let extremists take more power like in Sinai or in the rest of Egypt. But this war means they completely want to wipe out anybody who gives any chance for the opponents, like Muslim Brotherhood supporters, to speak out. So that's why Al Jazeera English is targeted also in such a harsh way."

Text: Detained Al Jazeera journalists and others face criminal trial


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Egypt • Middle East
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