By John Powell
Al-Jazeera said it would appeal an Egyptian court’s verdict that sentenced three of its journalists to three years in prison on what the news organization calls “false charges” of aiding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement and spreading false news.
Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-born Canadian, Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian national, and Peter Greste, an Australian citizen, were arrested in 2013. Greste was deported in February 2015 and tried in absentia.
The sentences came after a lengthy retrial that was condemned by the international community as a blatant attack on press freedom.
The Committee to Protect Journalists calls Egypt “one of the riskiest countries in the world to be a journalist.” More than 20 journalists are currently behind bars there. Many are accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that was banned after the overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Threats facing Fahmy, Mohamed, Greste and other journalists around the world are chronicled in the Newseum’s Time Warner World News Gallery.