Cairo court retrial: Al Jazeera journalists sentenced to three years’ jail

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Al Jazeera journalists Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian Baher Mohamed, and Australian Peter Greste were sentenced yesterday to three years in prison by judge Hassan Farid following a retrial of the 2013 case in Cairo.

The three men were accused of and charged with aiding banned Egyptian organization the Muslim Brotherhood, broadcasting false information, and operating without a press license within Egypt. Fahmy and Mohamed were present at the courtroom in Cairo's Tora Prison, while Greste was deported to Australia in February following an overturned conviction, and as a result was tried in absentia after an ordered re-trial.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has commented on the court's decision, saying she would use all diplomatic means available with the Egyptian minister of foreign affairs to clear Grestse's name. Al Jazeera continue to deny the accusations.

"The situation is a challenge to journalism as a whole. If this stands unchallenged, this formula will be repeated elsewhere. Journalists should not be imprisoned for doing their jobs. Journalism is not a crime", stated Al Jazeera online. They indicated intent to appeal the verdict to the Court of Cassation.

Peter Greste tweeted on the verdict: "Shocked. Outraged. Angry. Upset. None of them convey how I feel right now. 3 yr sentences for @bahrooz, @MFFahmy11 and me is so wrong."