Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Tannock asks Egyptian Foreign Minister to drop charges against British journalist

8th April 2014

A British Al-Jazeera journalist who has been charged with aiding terrorism in Egypt - despite having left the country before the Muslim Brotherhood was proscribed a terrorist organisation - had her case raised today with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, by Dr Charles Tannock, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman.

The Egyptian Minister Nabil Fahmi was meeting with the parliament's foreign affairs committee today to discuss recent developments in Egypt. He told Dr Tannock that he would investigate the case of Sue Turton, who faces arrest should she return to Egypt, or elsewhere in the African Union.

Dr Tannock met with Sue Turton last week and pledged to take up her case.

Speaking after today's meeting, he said:

"I asked the Foreign Minister to intervene with the prosecuting authorities and drop the charges. He said he would investigate.

"Seeing as Sue Turton was not even in Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood was proscribed as a terrorist organisation, if she is guilty of terrorism then so is every other Western journalist that interviewed them.

"Al-Jazeera English enjoys editorial independence and Sue Turton has been a journalist for 24 years. These charges are a violation of the Egyptian constitution which clearly upholds press freedom.

"The Egyptian authorities should now drop the charges against Sue Turton and allow her to go about her work as an independent journalist, and three other independent Al-Jazeera journalists being held in Egypt should be freed. I hope that Minister Fahmi will take this request seriously."