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Al Jazeera English journalists moved to lower security detention

The transfer comes after a viral campaign online around the world calling for their release

Ahram Online , Wednesday 5 Feb 2014
Members of the media march with black tape across their mouths, signifying the silencing of the media, and wearing tee-shirts showing detained Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, at a demonstration by Kenyan and Nairobi-based foreign media calling for the release of Greste and his colleagues, outside the Egyptian embassy in Nairobi, (Photo: AP)

The family of detained Al Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy said on Wednesday that he and his two colleagues were moved to a lower security section of the Tora prison complex. 

"It is confirmed that Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed are now in a lower security prison held together in the same cell,” said Fahmy’s Twitter account, "@Repent11,” which is operated by his family.

Greste, an Australian, and Mohamed, an Egyptian, were detained at a high security section of the Tora prison in separate cells while Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian, was detained at the notorious Scorpion prison in the Tora complex. 

Family and friends of Fahmy said the three men were transferred to Molha'a El-Mazra’a, a section of the Tora prison usually reserved for high-profile detainees. Former members of the government of deposed president Hosni Mubarak, as well as Mubarak’s sons Gamal and Alaa, have been held there.  

“It is also confirmed that the conditions that they are being held in now are much better than before. Definitely a result of foreign media pressure,” Fahmy’s Twitter account said.

The news of transferring the three journalists comes a day after the launch of an online campaign under the hashtag “#FreeAJstaff.” Journalists and supporters around the globe posted photos of themselves with their mouths taped shut and holding signs demanding the release of the journalists.

The White House press secretary urged Egypt to release the Al Jazeera journalists last week.

Fahmy, Greste and Mohamed were arrested in December in Cairo and referred to criminal court along with another 17 journalists for a number of charges including being members of a designated terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, and airing false news about Egypt.

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