Worldwide Condemnation as Egypt Whisks Al-Jazeera Journalists to Prison

Outrage and condemnation were the reactions inside a Cairo courtroom and across the world on Saturday after three Al-Jazeera journalists were sentenced to at least three years in prison by an Egyptian judge.

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Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were convicted of “spreading false news” and acting on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood, the political party which was ousted in a military-supported coup in 2013 and which the current government, led by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, has now branded a “terrorist” organization.

Though Greste was deported back to Australia in February, both Fahmy and Mohamed (who was given an additional six months compared to his western colleagues) were in court when the ruling was handed down and were immediately whisked away by security personnel.

Mr. Fahmy’s wife, Mawra, was reportedly distraught in the wake of the announcement sentence. “I’m all alone,” she told journalists in the courtroom. “I don’t know what to do – I never expected him to be jailed.” And added, “I just want justice.”

Taking to his Twitter account, Greste spoke out from Australia to demand justice for his colleagues:

Free press advocates and human rights groups joined Al-Jazeera in deploring the ruling with no merit whatsoever and an atrocious miscarriage of justice.