Protest to follow jailing of Al-Jazeera trio

Silent protest at NBH in April Hundreds joined the silent protest at NBH in April

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The director of news is calling on staff to 'stand together' in protest after an Egyptian court jailed three Al-Jazeera journalists for seven years.

James Harding said he was 'appalled and disgusted' by Monday's 'preposterously unjust' verdict.

He insisted there was 'no evidence' to support the Egyptian authorities' claims that the trio had collaborated with the now banned Muslim Brotherhood.

In an email to news staff, he called the sentence an 'act of intimidation' against all journalists that was designed to 'scare' others from reporting and investigating the news in Egypt.

He asked staff to join a one minute silent protest outside New Broadcasting House on Tuesday morning at 9.41am - the time the verdict was delivered.

A similar demonstration took place in April, with hundreds of news staff gathering on the piazza in gags to highlight the plight of former BBC correspondent Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who have spent the last six months in custody awaiting the trial.

'We shall stand together, once again, for the Al Jazeera journalists and all journalists who are imprisoned and intimidated simply for trying to report the news,' said Harding. 'Journalism is not a crime.'

As before, those who are away from the building are invited to post selfies of their own silent protests with the hashtag #journalismisnotacrime.

Harding is writing to both the Egyptian President al-Sisi and British foreign secretary William Hague to express the BBC's concerns.

'Many of you who worked with Peter Greste during his years at the BBC know what an outstanding journalist he is,' said Harding. 'We stand with him, his team, his news organisation and the other journalists who have been sentenced in absentia.'

Eleven defendants tried in absentia, including three foreign journalists, received ten-year sentences.

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