Euronews is no longer accessible on Internet Explorer. This browser is not updated by Microsoft and does not support the last technical evolutions. We encourage you to use another browser, such as Edge, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt, supporters stunned

Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt, supporters stunned
Euronews logo
Text size Aa Aa

Three Al Jazeera journalists who were in court today have been sentenced to seven years in jail.

A judge in Cairo found the three guilty of charges which included helping a terrorist organisation – an apparent reference to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The case has raised questions about Egypt’s respect for media freedoms.

Outside the court, Wafa Bassiouni, the mother of defendant Mohammed Fahmy: said:

“If they have found any evidence, how many years they could give him? For nothing, they give him seven years!”

Australia’s foreign minister said the journalists are “devastated.”

She expects Egypt to come under a “great deal of pressure” over the sentences.

“The Australian government is shocked at the verdict in Peter Greste case. We’re deeply dismayed by the fact that a sentence has been posed and we’re appalled by the severity of of it,” said Julia Bishop.

The Dutch foreign ministry summoned its Egyptian ambassador over the sentences, which included a 10-year term in absentia for Dutch journalist Rena Netjes.

William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, said in a statement: “I am particularly concerned by the unacceptable procedural shortcomings during the trial, including that key prosecution evidence was not made available to the defence team.”

“Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of a stable and prosperous society,” Hague added.

Al Jazeera has urged Egypt to overturn the ruling condemning the judgement as unjustified and defying logic.

The State of Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera, backs the Muslim Brotherhood. Its ties with Egypt have been strained since Sisi ousted Mursi last year after mass protests against his one-year rule.