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The Latest: Peter Greste Worries about Al-Jazeera Colleagues

The Latest: Peter Greste Worries about Al-Jazeera Colleagues

Saturday, 29 August 2015 07:15 AM

CAIRO (AP) — Here are the latest developments in Egypt's retrial of three Al-Jazeera English journalists (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Peter Greste, one of the three Al-Jazeera journalists sentenced to three years in prison by an Egyptian court, says he's worried about the fate of his other two colleagues.

Greste made the comments to his satellite network Saturday after the verdict. Greste was deported from Egypt in February and now is in Australia.

His colleagues, Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed, attended the Egyptian hearing and were immediately taken away by police after the verdict.

Greste said he worries about Fahmy and Mohammed going back into Egypt's "terrifyingly overcrowded" prisons. He said: "The conditions are really, really tough, particularly now at the height of summer. I cannot imagine what they are going to be feeling when they go back there."

11:45 a.m.

Amnesty International has condemned the three-year prison sentences given to three Al-Jazeera English journalists, calling them the "death knell for freedom of expression in Egypt."

Amnesty issued its statement Saturday after the court hearing in Cairo for Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed. Mohammed got an additional six months for having a "bullet" in his possession.

Philip Luther, the director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program, said: "The fact that two of these journalists are now facing time in jail following two grossly unfair trials makes a mockery of justice in Egypt. Today's verdict must be overturned immediately. Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed should be allowed to walk free without conditions. We consider them to be prisoners of conscience, jailed solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression."

11:30 a.m.

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has criticized the three-year prison sentences handed down to three Al-Jazeera English journalists.

Speaking Saturday immediately after the verdict, she told journalists that "everyone has said there is no evidence to sustain any of the charges."

Clooney said: "The verdict today sends a very dangerous message in Egypt. It sends a message that journalists can be locked up for simply doing their job, for telling the truth and reporting the news. And it sends a dangerous message that there are judges in Egypt who will allow their courts to become instruments of political repression and propaganda."

Clooney represented Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, who was Al-Jazeera's acting bureau chief in Cairo. Fahmy was sentenced along with Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed.

Clooney added that she hoped Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi would pardon the three journalists.

11:15 a.m.

One of the three Al-Jazeera English journalists sentenced to three years in prison in an Egyptian court will spend another six months behind bars.

The additional sentence Saturday affected Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed. A transcript of the court decision, carried by Egypt's state news agency MENA, said he received the additional time for being in possession of a "bullet."

At their initial trial, journalists Peter Greste and Mohammed Fahmy received a seven-year prison sentence while Mohammed received a 10-year sentence for also being found with a spent bullet casing. It wasn't immediately clear why Saturday's verdict referred to a "bullet," rather than a spent bullet casing.

11 a.m.

The Egyptian judge who sentenced three Al-Jazeera English journalists to three years in prison says he did so because they weren't registered with the country's journalist syndicate.

Judge Hassan Farid handed down his sentence on Saturday morning. Farid also said the journalists brought equipment without the approval of security officials into Egypt, as well as spread "false news" and used a hotel as a broadcasting point without permission.

Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed were all sentenced to three years in prison.

10:50 a.m.

Al-Jazeera English acting director-general is saying an Egyptian court verdict against three of its journalists "defies logic and common sense."

Mostefa Souag made the statement immediately after a Cairo court on Saturday sentenced Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed to three years in prison.

Souag said: "The whole case has been heavily politicized and has not been conducted in a free and fair manner. There is no evidence proving that our colleagues in any way fabricated news or aided and abetted terrorist organizations and at no point during the long drawn out retrial did any of the unfounded allegations stand up to scrutiny."

10:32 a.m.

An Egyptian court has sentenced three Al-Jazeera English journalists to three years in prison.

The court issued the verdict Saturday in the long-running trial criticized worldwide by press freedom advocates and human rights activists.

The three Al-Jazeera journalists — Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed — were detained in December 2013 while working for the Doha-based network.

The three first were sentenced to prison before Egypt's highest court ordered a retrial on charges of them allegedly being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have declared a terrorist organization, and airing falsified footage intended to damage national security.

Egypt deported Greste in February. Fahmy and Mohammed were later released on bail.

9:45 a.m.

Amal Clooney has arrived in an Egyptian court to represent one of the three Al-Jazeera English journalists on trial.

Saturday marked Clooney's first time for her to appear in court in Egypt to represent Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy.

Egypt's state news agency MENA has reported a verdict in the case was expected to be issued Saturday.

The three Al-Jazeera journalists — Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed — were detained in December 2013 while working for the Doha-based network.

The three first were sentenced to prison before Egypt's highest court ordered a retrial on charges of them allegedly being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have declared a terrorist organization, and airing falsified footage intended to damage national security.

Egypt deported Greste in February. Fahmy and Mohammed were later released on bail.

9:20 a.m.

Egypt's state news agency is reporting that a verdict is expected soon in the case of three Al-Jazeera English journalists.

MENA reported the verdict was to be issued Saturday in the long-running trial criticized worldwide by press freedom advocates and human rights activists.

The three Al-Jazeera journalists — Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed — were detained in December 2013 while working for the Doha-based network.

The three first were sentenced to prison before Egypt's highest court ordered a retrial on charges of them allegedly being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have declared a terrorist organization, and airing falsified footage intended to damage national security.

Egypt deported Greste in February. Fahmy and Mohammed were later released on bail.

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Here are the latest developments in Egypt's retrial of three Al-Jazeera English journalists (all times local):12:30 p.m.Peter Greste, one of the three Al-Jazeera journalists sentenced to three years in prison by an Egyptian court, says he's worried about the fate of his...
ML,Egypt,Al,Jazeera,The Latest
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2015-15-29
Saturday, 29 August 2015 07:15 AM
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