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Egypt deals blow to Jazeera, champion of Arab Spring

Published on Jun 24, 2014 6:39 AM
(From left) Al-Jazeera news channel's Australian journalist Peter Greste and his colleagues, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, listen to the verdict inside the defendants cage during their trial for allegedly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood on June 23, 2014 at the police institute near Cairo's Tora prison. -- PHOTO: AFP

DOHA (AFP) - Jail sentences against Al-Jazeera journalists on Monday in Egypt have dealt a blow to the Qatari network that championed Arab Spring revolts which toppled autocratic regimes, analysts said.

The pan-Arab news channel has come in for strong criticism in Egypt over its coverage seen as favourable to the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.

Three of its journalists, including award-winning Australian Peter Greste, each got seven years in jail by a Cairo court, accused of supporting the blacklisted Brotherhood, a verdict condemned around the world.

Eleven defendants tried in absentia, including one Dutch and two British journalists, were given 10-year sentences.

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