Egypt Sentences Journos for Supposed Terrorism
(CN) - Six journalists received harsh prison sentences in Egypt for supposed terrorism in the wake of the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, a nonprofit said Monday.
More than 65 journalists have been arrested since a coup d'etat brought down the short-lived Morsi presidency in July, and 14 remain in Egyptian prisons, according to a statement by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
A Cairo court sentenced Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Peter Greste to seven-year prison terms, while their colleague Baher Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years. Egyptian authorities accused the men of aiding terrorists and endangering national security.
The court also convicted three other international journalists - Sue Turton and Dominic Kane of Al-Jazeera and Rena Netjes, a correspondent for Dutch newspaper Parool - in absentia and sentenced them all to 10 years. All of the journalists are expected to appeal.
"These convictions are shocking, and an extremely disturbing sign for the future of the Egyptian press," Sherif Mansour, coordinator for the CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program, said in a statement. "Authorities must release the journalists immediately and overturn the verdict on appeal."
Ambassadors and human-rights activists watching the trial told The Guardian that said that the prosecution presented evidence that had little to do with Egyptian politics or the journalists' alleged misdeeds. Prosecutors showed videos of trotting horses from Sky News Arabia, a music video by Australian singer Gotye and a BBC documentary about Somalia, according to The Guardian's report.