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Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Egypt foreign ministry rejects foreign condemnation of Al Jazeera verdicts

Foreign ministry 'strongly rejects any comment from a foreign body which expresses suspicion of the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and the fairness of its rulings'

Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Jun 2014
Views: 1656
Views: 1656

Egypt's foreign ministry has expressed its objection to foreign criticism of Egypt's judiciary and its rulings, following a verdict on Monday that sent three Al Jazeera journalists – an Australian, an Egyptian-Canadian and an Egyptian – to prison for "spreading false news."

"The foreign ministry strongly rejects any comment from a foreign body which expresses suspicion of the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and the fairness of its rulings," the ministry said in a statement.

Western countries flooded Egypt with criticism following the verdict. Egyptian envoys in Australia and the Netherlands were summoned. A Dutch journalist was sentenced in absentia along with 11 others.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Egypt's ambassador to the UK would be summoned over the verdict.

"The ministry rejects the use of expressions and formulations which violate acceptable diplomatic norms," the statement said, adding that foreign intervention in internal Egyptian affairs is rejected by the ministry and Egyptians.

The foreign ministry's response started on Monday shortly after the verdict, when Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry ordered "pre-emptive" measures to face the condemnation.

Shoukry instructed Egyptian embassies to request urgent meetings with foreign affairs officials in which they are based, said a statement on the ministry's website.

Shoukry's directions include handing foreign ministers a translated statement from Egypt's general prosecutor explaining the circumstances behind the journalists' arrests and the charges brought against them.

Egyptian ambassadors have also been given "talking points" to discuss with diplomatic officials to affirm the independence of Egypt's judiciary and the rights of free and independent media guaranteed under the new constitution, passed in January.

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