“What we do is a noble job that carries great responsibility — we were truly enlightening the world with our reporting.”
On Dec. 29, 2013, four members of Al Jazeera Cairo’s team were detained by Egyptian authorities. Cameraman Mohamed Fawzy was eventually released, but producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, and correspondent Peter Greste, are still behind bars.
On Monday, April 28, Al Jazeera obtained a letter written by Baher Mohamed that was smuggled from prison in Egypt.
Amina Ismail / MCT
Dear members of the one of the world’s oldest professions…
I’m writing this letter from behind bars — the place I was sent simply for practicing the only profession I know and love.
I want to let you know that I’m truly proud to be a journalist, but also proud to be a member of the global media community.
I’d like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the extraordinary efforts of the campaigners who are fighting for freedom of expression and the release of the three of us — “Peter, Fahmy and Baher.” Every time I hear of all that is being done for us, I feel humbled. But it also makes me confident that the fight for freedom of expression will never be abandoned.
I want to let all the journalists, activists, and individuals know demanding the end of our detention that what you are doing strengthens us, touching our hearts and raising our spirits. I want you to know that nothing in this world will break us. I know that after this experience, I’ll be stronger, always seeking the truth confident that whatever happens we’ve got each other’s backs.
When I was covering the conflict in Libya, I came to see that journalists are not just reporting the news — they are truth-seekers, diplomats of the fighters of right. What we do is a noble job that carries great responsibility — we were truly enlightening the world with our reporting. Imagine for a moment what would happen if we stopped working with courage, if we abandoned our integrity, gave up our independence and freedom. It would leave the world a far more ignorant place, with dictators free to take advantage and flourish.
I want to offer my thanks to Al Jazeera first for giving me a chance to join the Cairo team and also for the support to my family at this difficult time.
I learned my profession with the Japanese, where the highest expression of gratitude is a bow. So, I want to bow before all those who are fighting for freedom of expression, a free press, and an end to to our detention.