Freed Al Jazeera Journalists Reunite with Families

After being held in prisons custody in Egypt for 411 days, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy, both journalists working with Al Jazeera, an international television network, have regained their freedom and reunited with members of their families.

The journalists were released on Friday, a day after an Egyptian court granted them bail and slated the next hearing for February 23, 2015.

Peter Greste, another Al Jazeera journalist was deported to Australia earlier this month, after 400 days in prison.

The three Al Jazeera journalists, Mohamed, Fahmy and Greste, were arrested in Egypt in December 2013 after being accused of promoting the banned Muslim Brotherhood party.

Baher was initially sentenced to 10 years while Fahmy was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment before the recent court ruling overturned the decision.

Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian was told by the authorities that his only way to regain freedom was to renounce his Egyptian citizenship, which he has done. The judge also asked him to pay a security bond of around $33,000.

Family members of the freed journalists could not hide their joy as they reunite with their loved ones.

“I’m going immediately to tell the kids that their father is coming home today and that life will be beautiful. I’ll wait to welcome him back. Life has changed today,” Jihan Rashid, Baher Mohamed’s wife told journalists after Friday’s ruling.

Adel Fahmy, Mohamed Fahmy’s brother, said relatives and associates of the journalists will abide by the Egyptian law with the hope that they will be completely vindicated when this case falls apart.

While relatives are bent on continuing with the judicial fight for Mohamed and Fahmy until the charges against them are dropped, Egypt’s highest court of appeals has challenged the evidence presented by the prosecution, saying the proceedings were flawed and ordered a retrial.

However, Geoffrey Robertson, Human Rights Lawyer said the bail release is a small step in the right direction, which should have happened 411 days ago, as there’s no evidence that the journalists have been complicit with the Muslim Brotherhood or involved in terrorism.

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