A Farce in Egypt

The judge “bellowed” the verdict against the three journalists today, according to reports. He announced that the three were found guilty and sentenced them to three years in jail. Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Peter Greste already spent more than 400 days in prison in Egypt after being arrested for “spreading false news” while working for al-Jazeera English.

The three have already been convicted, retried, acquitted, retried again. Greste, an Australian, was deported last year.

Judge Hassan Farid declared today that the court had determined that the defendants are not journalists as they are not members of Egypt’s “Journalists Syndicate,” nor had they registered with a national agency that grants foreign reporters permits to work in the country. Thus, since they are not officially journalists, they were working against the government. They had been convicted in a first trial in 2014, sentenced to seven years in prison each, retried, acquitted, retried again, and convicted again today. Another retrial is being worked on but the earliest it can start is 2016.
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