Egypt jails three Al-Jazeera journalists for up to 10 years

Al-Jazeera journalists (from left) Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste and Mohammed Fahmy behind bars in a court in Cairo earlier this month. The three were accused of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood. PHOTO: REUTERS
Al-Jazeera journalists (from left) Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste and Mohammed Fahmy behind bars in a court in Cairo earlier this month. The three were accused of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood. PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (AFP) - An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced three Al-Jazeera journalists, including Australian Peter Greste, to jail terms ranging from seven to 10 years after accusing them of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

Greste and Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy were sentenced to seven years, while producer Baher Mohamed received two sentences – one for seven years and another for three years.

The three were among 20 defendants in a trial that has triggered international outrage amid fears of growing media restrictions in Egypt.

Nine defendants who were tried in absentia, including three foreign journalists, were sentenced to 10 years, while two defendants were acquitted.

Since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, the authorities have been incensed by the Qatari network’s coverage of their deadly crackdown on his supporters.

They consider Al-Jazeera to be the voice of Qatar, and accuse Doha of backing Mursi’s Brotherhood, while the emirate openly denounces the repression of the Islamist movement’s supporters which has killed more than 1,400 people.