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Outrage Swells as Egyptian President Refuses Pardon

Imprisoned Al-Jazeera Journalists Face Difficult Appeals Process

The Newspaper Guild-CWA, journalists, news organizations and human rights groups around the world are continuing to express outrage over Egypt’s imprisonment of three Al-Jazeera journalists. After a sham trial on spurious terrorism-related charges, the three men were sentenced Monday to seven to 10 years in a maximum-security prison. They have already been held since December, reportedly housed together in a dank and tiny cell. On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdel fatah al-Sisi rebuffed calls from Barack Obama and other world leaders that he pardon the journalists. “We will not interfere in judicial rulings," Sisi said, as reported by The Guardian. "We must respect judicial rulings and not criticize them even if others do not understand this." “The only one failing to understand this absurdity is Egypt, which staged a farcical trial to railroad three journalists who were simply doing their jobs: reporting on the country’s civil unrest,” TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said. “The president’s refusal to even consider a pardon is more evidence that Egypt has no genuine interest in justice and democracy.”

Contract Extension Approved at Two Northeast Ohio Papers

With almost 70 percent of eligible Guild members voting, a three-year contract extension has been approved by the Repository/Independent bargaining unit of Northeast Ohio Newspaper Guild-CWA, Local 1. The extension, through Sept. 5, 2017, includes bonuses and/or base pay increases, job security language that bars subcontracting for the duration of the agreement and a provision saving four advertising positions.

Guild Joins in Global Outrage Over Journalists Jailed in Egypt

From a Guild statement today: In handing down prison sentences this morning for three Al-Jazeera journalists, Egypt seeks to intimidate all media workers dedicated to exposing its government’s brutality and corruption.It is a chilling strategy, one that all journalists, all media associations, as well as the U.S. State Department and other global democracies, must swiftly and thunderously condemn. The Newspaper Guild-CWA joins with all journalists, and all people of conscience, in that condemnation, and in demanding that Egypt immediately release Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed. “These men are career journalists whose backgrounds include work at the BBC and CNN. They made the ‘mistake’ of doing their jobs, of accurately portraying civil unrest in Egypt,” TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said. “They were convicted on trumped-up charges in a farce of a trial, after being held in inhumane conditions for months. That could be their fate for seven to 10 more years unless we can pressure and shame Egypt into doing what is right and just.”