Egypt: Jailed Aus journo 'outraged' at verdict

2014-06-26 09:04
Jail bars. (File photo, AP)

Jail bars. (File photo, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Egypt
    This book is jam packed with all the fascinating facts and information you need to know about Egypt. Now R149.00
    buy now
Sydney - Australian Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste has voiced his "outrage" at being jailed for seven years by an Egyptian court, saying the case was about silencing critical voices.

"I am devastated and outraged" by the verdict, he said in a message conveyed by his brothers who visited him in a Cairo prison a day after the sentencing, and posted on the Free Peter Greste Facebook page Thursday.

Greste and his colleague, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, were both sentenced to the same term on Monday for aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and "spreading false news".

Their producer Baher Mohamed was handed 10 years in a decision that sparked global outrage and fears of growing media restrictions in Egypt.

Eleven of 20 defendants who stood trial were given 10-year sentences in absentia, including one Dutch journalist and two Britons.

"Throughout this trial, the prosecutor has consistently failed to present a single piece of concrete evidence to support the outrageous allegations against us," 48-year-old Greste said in the statement.

Critical voices

"At the same time our lawyers have highlighted countless procedural errors, irregularities and abuses of due process that should have had the entire case thrown out of court many times over."

The former BBC reporter said he intended to consider all possible measures to overturn the conviction, although he did not mention an appeal, which could take months to go through the courts.

"The verdict confirms that our trial was never simply about the charges against us," he said in the statement, as remembered by his brothers Mike and Andrew who were not allowed writing materials in the prison.

"It has been an attempt to use the court to intimidate and silence critical voices in the media.

"That is why I know that our freedom, and more importantly the freedom of Egypt's press, will never come without noisy, sustained pressure from individuals, human rights groups, governments and anyone who understands the fundamental importance of a free press to Egypt's fledgling democracy."

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told ABC national radio after the verdict that "there's no doubt that the proceedings in the first place were politically motivated".

Deadly crackdown

Since the army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July 2013, the Egyptian authorities have been incensed by Al-Jazeera's coverage of their deadly crackdown on his supporters.

They consider the pan-Arab satellite network as the voice of Qatar, and accuse Doha of backing Morsi's Brotherhood, while the emirate openly denounces the repression of the Islamist supporters.

Canberra and the United States are leading calls for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to pardon the journalists, although the new Egyptian leader has said authorities will not interfere with the justice system.

A presidency official in Cairo told AFP earlier this week that Sisi could not legally do anything until a final court ruling after any appeals.

Andrew Greste told the ABC he was amazed at his brother's resilience inside the harsh Tora prison complex.

"He was remarkably together, it's unbelievable really," he said.

His parents said on Tuesday that while the family was devastated, their fight had now moved beyond their son's fate.

"The campaign for media freedom and free speech must never end. Journalism is not a crime," said his father Juris.

Peter Greste added in his statement that "we must all remain committed to fight this gross injustice for as long as necessary".

The Al-Jazeera ruling is the latest issue in Egypt to stoke concern over rights groups since a 2011 uprising toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Since Morsi's ouster, political unrest has reached unprecedented levels in Egypt, with more than 1,400 people killed and at least 15,000 jailed in a government crackdown.
Read more on:    al jazeera  |  mohammed morsi  |  abdel fattah al-sisi  |  egypt  |  australia  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!

MIT has created a robo-cheetah that will one day outrun Usain Bolt!

 
 

For chic geeks...

New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game
Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Man climbs into active volcano

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.