In Egypt, verdict expected in trial of Al-Jazeera journalists

New York, July 28, 2015–An Egyptian court is scheduled to issue a verdict on Thursday in the retrial of Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Peter Greste, according to news reports. Greste is being tried in absentia. A court in February ordered the retrial because of lack of evidence leading to the journalists’ conviction of “conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood,” which the government has banned, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the charges and calls on Egyptian authorities to stop legally harassing journalists.

“Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Peter Greste have been persecuted enough in Egypt just for doing their jobs as journalists,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Despite widespread criticism of the Al-Jazeera case, Egyptian authorities continue to try to suppress the flow of information by pressuring, harassing, and jailing journalists working for a range of news outlets.”

Fahmy, Mohamed, and Greste were imprisoned in Egypt for more than a year and were released pending retrial in February, according to news reports. Egypt was holding at least 18 journalists behind bars in relation to their work, according to a prison census CPJ conducted in June. Most of the journalists were accused of being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.