The motion passed with more than 180 participants voting in concert to condemn the verdicts, including the directors-general from a record number of national media organizations attending the EBU General Assembly in Naples.
“Our 74 radio and television Member organizations in 56 European countries and our associate members in Asia, Africa and the Americas, call upon the court in Egypt to re-consider the verdicts, and on the government to do everything within its power to secure their immediate release, in view of the universal obligations of freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the declaration reads.
The reporters, including Latvian-Australian dual-citizen Peter Greste, have been held since December and have now been sentenced to extended prison terms for allegedly falsifying news and abetting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood as foreign correspondents.
Greste, born in Australia, registered for dual citizenship in Latvia based on entitlement rights through his father after the nation regained its freedom from the collapsing Soviet Union in 1991.
While Greste never formally collected his Latvian passport, he does possess Latvian citizenship and Latvian diplomats have repeatedly spoken out for his release while collaborating with their Australian counterparts.