Greste gets new jail term after ridiculous retrial

A court in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, proved Saturday its earlier ruling that Latvian-Australian journalist Peter Greste and his colleagues should serve jail sentences for "aiding terrorism" was no fluke by handing him a reduced three-year sentence in a retrial that did little to improve the ridiculous image of Egypt's legal system.

The court handed Greste - who was tried in absentia - and Canadian citizen Mohamed Fahdy reduced three-year sentences, while their Egyptian colleague Baher Mohamed got 3 years and 6 months for broadcasting propaganda without a license.

 

Predictably, the new sentence met with shock from the accused and instant and universal condemnation from everywhere in the world that press freedom has meaning.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said:

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said:

A statement released by the European Union's external action service said:

"Today's sentencing of Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed represents a setback for freedom of expression in Egypt.

"Peter Greste's sentencing in absentia further questions the credibility of the process; it is in breach of Egypt's obligations under international law.

"We look forward to the appeals process and reiterate our call for the release of the defendants.

"Free, diverse and independent media are essential in a democratic society and we expect active steps to be taken to promote a safe environment for journalists."

Probably the most appropriate place to read more reaction is the Al-Jazeera news channel for which the three were reporting when arrested by the forces of dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi following his coup d'etat against democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi who has since been sentenced to death by another Egyptian court.

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