AFP/ Khaled Desouki. The journalists from the Qatari network Al Jazeera, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, seated in the prisoners’ cell during their trial in Cairo on 29th of August 2015
This Saturday, an Egyptian tribunal sentenced the three journalists from the Qatari network Al Jazeera to three years in jail,despite the international campaign for their acquittal.
The Australian Peter Greste, the Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and the Egyptian Baher Mohamed were found guilty of having “spread false information” and of having worked in Cairo without the necessary permission.
The judge Hasan Farid also indicated that “they were not journalists” as they hadn’t registered as such with the relevant authorities.
The reporters were accused of having supported by their coverage the Muslim Brotherhood formed by the Islamic President Mohamed Mursi, toppled by the army in 2013.
Fahmy and Mohamed were present at the tribunal and Greste was sentenced in his absence, after having been expelled to Australia in February by presidential decree.
The verdict is “a deliberate attack on freedom of he press” was Al Jazeera’s reaction in a communique.
“The only fair outcome of this case was acquittal” due to the “lack of evidence”, declared Amal Clooney, Fahmy’s lawyer, after the verdict.
Before the hearing, Amal Clooney indicated that there would be meetings with responsible government officials to request, if they should be sentenced, a presidential pardon or expulsion.
Translated by GH