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Jailed Al Jazeera journalists appeal sentences

Lawyer for jailed journalists Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste submits appeals against their seven-year sentences for 'fabricating news' and joining or aiding the Muslim Brotherhood

El-Sayed Gamal El-Deen, Marina Barsoum, Wednesday 20 Aug 2014
Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed
Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed (L to R), listen to the ruling at a court in Cairo June 23, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 2712

The defence lawyer for two Al Jazeera journalists has appealed their seven-year jail sentences.

Mostafa Nagy, lawyer for Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste, told Ahram Online that he had submitted an appeal on Wednesday to Cairo`s appeal court.

"Professionally speaking I cannot talk about the reasons behind the appeal, as it is in front of the court now," said Nagy.

He then added that all their procedures were legal and that they had submitted all the appeal papers on time.

Ahram Online could not reach lawyers for the third defendant, Mohamed Fahmy, to verify whether or not he has also submitted an appeal.

Nagy explained that the appeal court has to specify a session to announce whether or not they have accepted the appeal.

If the appeals succeed, the defendants will face a retrial.

Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian, said last month in a letter from prison that he was hesitant about filling an appeal against his seven-year jail sentence.

Bureau chief of Doha-based Al Jazeera English, Fahmy was arrested in December of last year along with two journalists working for the same network, Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed.

The three were tried along with 17 others on charges of fabricating news falsely portraying Egypt as being in a state of "civil war," as well as aiding or joining the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Baher Mohamed was handed an extra three-year term for his possession of a spent bullet.

The reasoning for the verdict was announced in July, a month after the verdict. The 57-page document stated that the three defendants were brought together "by the devil" to destabilise the country, AP reported.

The case, which began on 20 February and spanned over 12 hearings, has provoked fears about the future of media freedom and the muzzling of political dissent in Egypt. Local and global rights watchdogs, as well as international news organisations, have repeatedly called for the release of the detained journalists.

Al Jazeera has repeatedly dismissed the charges against its journalists and called for their immediate release.


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