Australian journalist Peter Greste and Al Jazeera colleagues Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have been sentenced to three years in jail in a retrial by an Egyptian court.
The trio were charged with supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood, airing false news as well as operating without a press license in Egypt.
After the verdict was handed down by the Cairo court, Greste told Al Jazeera that “this is a judgment that is not based on evidence”.
“Anyone who watched the trial, and we had many people broadcasting or reporting on the trial … none saw any evidence to substantiate the allegations.
“The fact is this is wrong, this is unjust, this is unethical, this is immoral on so many levels [and] it cannot be allowed to stand.
“It cannot be allowed to get away with this.”
The “heavy politicised” case began last year after an Egyptian court sentenced Greste seven years in jail after being found guilty on several charges, one of which included helping a “”terrorist organization” by publishing lies.
Greste’s colleague, bureau chief of Al Jazeera English and Canadian-Egyptian national Fahmy was handed down the same sentence while Egyptian producer Mohamed was sentenced to an additional three years in jail on a separate charge involving possession of weapons.
Greste spent more than 400 days in jail before being freed by order of Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and deported back to Australia earlier in February.
He is now calling on international pressure and the support of “governments and diplomats around the world, to make it clear to Egypt that it cannot make these kinds of judgments”.
Greste will not be imprisoned because he was being sentenced in absentia while his two colleagues will have to return to prison.
— Peter Greste (@PeterGreste) August 29, 2015
After the retrial in Cairo, Al Jazeera Media Network’s Acting Director General Dr Mostefa Souag released a statement saying the verdict “defies logic and common sense”.
Many have also taken to Twitter to express their support:
— Julie Bishop (@JulieBishopMP) August 29, 2015
— A_Greste (@AlisterGreste) August 29, 2015
— Christine Milne (@ChristineMilne) August 29, 2015
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