As if the risk of being killed is not enough. Must journalists endure the threat of imprisonment as well as the threat of death or serious injury? It is not just the outrageous, unfair, trumped-up crudity of the charges against the three Al Jazeera journalists sentenced to years of imprisonment in Cairo – we are used to this treatment from Third World pseudo-revolutionary countries, although why Egypt should wish to be among their number is a political mystery in itself.
No, it is the bald fact that prison for journalists in one of the world’s most populous, historic countries must now be regarded as a normal part of the risks we take in covering the world. Just as rape is a vile tool of war, so jail must be a routine method of shutting us up. And in an awful sense, our Western leaders go along with this. Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Australian Peter Greste expected to be freed on Monday, although they must have known Egypt and “justice” do not have a lot in common.