Egyptian scribes get 7-year sentences
CAIRO. — Two Al Jazeera English journalists have been sentenced to seven years in jail and one to 10 years by an Egyptian court on charges including aiding the Muslim Brotherhood and reporting false news. The guilty verdicts were delivered by a judge yesterday against Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed.
Greste and Fahmy were sentenced to seven years in jail, while Baher Mohamed was sentenced to an additional three years for possession of ammunition.
Mohamed was in possession of a spent bullet he had found on the ground during a protest.
Other Al Jazeera journalists being tried in absentia were sentenced to 10 years. Their names are: Alaa Bayoumi, Anas Abdel-Wahab Khalawi Hasan, Khaleel Aly Khaleel Bahnasy, Mohamed Fawzi, Dominic Kane and Sue Turton.
Al Jazeera has always rejected the charges against its journalists and maintains their innocence. Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed were arrested in December in Cairo as they covered the aftermath of the army’s removal of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency in July.
The prosecution said Greste, Al Jazeera’s east Africa correspondent, and his Egypt bureau colleagues aided the Brotherhood and produced false news reports of the situation in Egypt. The Brotherhood, which supported Morsi, was listed as a “terrorist” organisation by the interim Egyptian government shortly before the accused were arrested.
The prosecution produced a number of items as evidence including a BBC podcast, a news report made while none of the accused were in Egypt, a pop video by the Australian singer, Gotye, and several recordings on non-Egyptian issues.
The defence maintained that the journalists were wrongly arrested and that the prosecution had failed to prove any of the charges against them. —Al Jazeera.