Australia pushes for pardon of Al-Jazeera reporter
Published on Jun 24, 2014 9:15 AM
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia on Tuesday urged Egypt's new leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to issue a presidential pardon for Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste to prove to the world Cairo is on a path to democracy.
Australian Greste and his Al Jazeera colleague, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, were both sentenced to seven years in Jail by a Cairo court on Monday for aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and "spreading false news". Their producer Baher Mohamed received two sentences - one for seven years and another for three years.
They were among 20 defendants in a trial that has triggered global outrage and fears of growing media restrictions in Egypt.
"There's no doubt that the proceedings in the first place were politically motivated," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told ABC national radio on Tuesday. "Because this was at a time when the military had taken over the government, the Muslim Brotherhood had been the democratically elected government, and then there was a military coup and the Muslim Brotherhood was deemed a terrorist organisation."
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