World leaders urge Egypt to release Al Jazeera staff
in a state of "civil war." In a case that sparked international outrage, Greste and Fahmy received seven-year terms, while Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years.
Since their arrest in December 2013, Al Jazeera has received international support calling for their freedom from human rights organisations, news networks and various governments.
On social media, the advert placed in The New York Times alone gave 800,000 impressions on Twitter in the first five hours.
Commenting on president Obama's call for the release of the Al Jazeera three, Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed said: "For nine months since the arrest of Baher Mohamed, Mohammed Fahmy and Peter Greste, world opinion has stated that these men are innocent and have committed no crime, yet nearly 300 days later they still languish behind bars. Al Jazeera welcomes the direct involvement of President Obama and Prime Minister Abbott by reminding the Egyptian authorities that it is their moral duty in the name of free speech and human rights that they release our colleagues who are innocent and renowned journalists."
Calls for the release of Al Jazeera staff have previously been made from the White House, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the European Union, the Australian Government and over 150 rights groups, including Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Press Institute.
Over 200,000 people have signed petitions globally, including two petitions signed by 150,000 people presented to the Egyptian Vice Counsel in Sydney by Australia’s leading journalists.
Over 40 of the world’s top journalists have also signed a letter demanding the release of the journalists, and media outlets across the globe have staged their own protests, including BBC, CNN, ITN, Channel 4, Fairfax Australia, Toronto Star, VRT deredactie and Iran’s Shargh Daily.
High-profile supporters include leading media personalities Larry King, Christiane Amanpour, Jon Snow, Piers Morgan, Stephen Fry, Ben Wedeman, Brian Stelter, and Alex Thompson, as well as Naomi Klein, Reza Aslan, Mia Farrow and Bianca Jagger.
Similarly public calls of support for the release of the journalists have occurred throughout the social media campaign #FreeAJStaff, with over 137,000 people who have shared their support on Twitter, reaching 112 million people, and delivering over two billion impressions.
For more information, visit www.aljazeera.com.