No presidential pardon for journalists

Take note – story published 9 years ago

According to Toronto-based news organization Globe and Mail, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi issued a number of pardons Sunday to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, however did not include the names of the three Al Jazeera journalists now serving out the beginning of multiple-year jail terms for reporting on the activities of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Relatives of the journalists said that they knew the chances of a pardon were slim, especially after el-Sissi said in June that he would not interfere with the verdict.

Peter Greste's brother said Friday that he will appeal his conviction. News of his appeal came just after the court released a statement summing up the reasoning behind the verdict, which included claims that the three men were guided by the devil.

The case has attracted widespread international condemnation for its suppression of press freedom and criticized for its farcical show-trial elements.

Peter Greste, an Australian-Latvian, was arrested in December together with his field team colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, and sentenced to prison by a Cairo court in June for their alleged falsification of news regarding the Brotherhood, which has been deemed a terrorist organization by el-Sissi’s government after the ousting of its former democratically-elected president Morsi in 2013.

Greste possesses dual Latvian and Australian citizenship and Latvian authorities have co-ordinated efforts to win his release with their Australian counterparts.

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