SHAFAQNA -Â Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the three-year jail sentences that a Cairo court, after many postponements, finally passed today on Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Geste, who were convicted of disseminating false information and working without a licence.
â€œWe firmly condemn the disgraceful â€˜politicalâ€™ verdict issued at the end of the retrial of these Al-Jazeera journalists,â€ Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
â€œFor those who didnâ€™t already know, this grossly unfair trial shows the blatant disregard for media freedom in Egypt, where the limits are overstepped every day. President Sisiâ€™s regime cannot continue to justify its authoritarian excesses in the name of combatting terrorism.â€
The long-awaited final hearing was held this morning amid great expectation in Cairoâ€™s Tora prison. The arrival in the courtroom of Fahmy and Mohamed, their lawyers, the ambassadors of Canada, Netherlands and United Kingdom, and finally the judge triggered a flurry of messaging on social networks.
Geste was tried in absentia after being deported to Australia in February.
To cap this judicial sham, Mohamed was given an additional six-month sentence for supposedly being in possession of a bullet at the time of his arrest.