Journalists awaits theirfate
A Cairo court iis expected to issue a verdict in the retrial of three Al-Jazeera journalists on 30 July, as reported by the Committee to Portect Journalists (CPJ), the independent organisation dedicated to the global defence of press freedom.
The journalists facing the verdict are Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a naturalised Canadian who gave up his Egyptian citizenship, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, while their colleague Peter Greste from Australia is being tried in absentia.
The three al-Jazeera journalists received lengthy jail terms in June 2014 after being convicted of supporting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement. Fahmy and Greste were both sentenced to seven years in prison while Mohamed received a ten-year sentence. However Greste was released “unconditionally” from Cairo's notorious Tora prison on 2 February and returned immediately to Australia.
Ten days after his release, his colleagues Fahmy and Mohamed were freed on bail, after their convictions for spreading false news to help a terrorist group, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, were overturned on appeal.
The court ordered a retrial due to lack of evidence leading to the journalists' conviction of "conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood.” The three journalists had been working for Al-Jazeera English at the time of their arrest in December 2013 and all have consistently denied the charges against them.
They were among 20 reporters held on terror-related charges in a high-profile case that has received international condemnation.
Egyptian authorities accuse the Qatar-funded Al-Jazeera of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi set about eliminating after its democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted from power in a military coup in 2013.