Egypt on Monday sentenced three journalists from Al-Jazeera English to seven years in prison each on terrorism-related charges. Among those convicted was Australian correspondent Peter Greste.
In a written statement issued after the verdict and sentences were announced, the Public Prosecutor’s office said the men had been convicted of creating recordings and other matieral “to be shown to others and presented before the public in Egypt and abroad, with the aim of giving the impression to foreign public opinion that Egypt is undergoing a civil war, in order to weaken the state and its standing, harm the national interests of the country, agitate public security, spread terror among the people, and damage public interests.”
CBS News’ Alex Ortiz explained, however, that the prosecution offered little real evidence to back up those charges. They paraded pieces of equipment commonly used by broadcast journalists, such as cameras and tripods, in front of the court as if they were bloodied murder weapons.
Fellow journalists and the public were outraged by the convictions.
Peter’s nephew Alister also reacted.
Also sentenced was Canadian-Egyptian acting Cairo bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed, who received three additional years.