Cairo, 24 August 2006 – Egyptian civil society organizations called upon the abductors of the American Fox News channel’s journalists, today, to immediately release the abducted journalists and to abandon such methods which defame Palestinian resistance groups and violate journalists’ rights.
The American correspondent Steve Centanni and New Zealander freelance cameraman Olaf Wiig working for the American Fox News channel were kidnapped on 14 August in Gaza. A group named the “Holy Jihad Brigades” announced its responsibility for kidnapping the two journalists and demanded the release of Muslim prisoners held by the United States in return for the release of the two journalists, giving the US 72 hours to fulfill their demands.
“Despite the hostile and biased stance adopted by the American Fox News channel against Arab issues in general and Palestinian case in particular, kidnapping journalists is unacceptable and endangers the reputation of the Palestinian people – who struggle to acquire their legal rights – and is also considered a violation and a serious threat to press,” the undersigned Civil Society organizations said.
The undersigned organizations urge the kidnappers to immediately release the two journalists without conditions and to resort to approved political and humane mechanisms. The undersigned organizations call upon the group to abstain from the use of illegitimate methods to achieve their legitimate demands so as to avoid providing justifications for characterizing Arab Palestinian resistance groups as terrorist organizations.
The Signed organizations:
1. Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate
2. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
3. Association for Human Rights Legal Aid
4. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
5. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
6. Center for Rural Studies
7. Hisham Mubark Center for Law
8. Arabic Program for Human Rights Activists
9. Freedom of Intellect and Expression
10. Dialogue Forum for Development and Human Rights
11. Maat Center for Legal and Constitutional Studies
12. Egyptian Organization for Raising Social Participation
13. Habi Center for Environmental Rights
14. Land Sons for Human Rights
15. One World Organization for Development and Civil Society Care
16. Egyptian Association to Support Democratic Development
17. Egyptian Democratic Institute
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