Three Al Jazeera journalists were sentenced to three years in an Egyptian prison on Saturday after being charged with aiding a terrorist organization.
Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Australian journalist Peter Greste were sentenced by an Egyptian court. Mohamed was given an additional six months in prison and a fine of 5,000 Egyptian pounds, which is akin to $640. Greste was deported from Egypt this past February and was sentenced in absentia.
According to the Egyptian court, the three defendants were not registered journalists, didn’t have a broadcast license, and they reported “false news.” The terrorist organization they were accused of helping referred to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed in Egypt.
The journalists maintained their innocence, arguing that they were just doing their jobs. Amal Clooney was among their many supporters and she was left disappointed by the decision.
Fahmy and Mohamed will return to prison after being released on bail back in January. Greste won’t be able to travel to any country that has an extradition treaty with Egypt if the court issues an international arrest warrant. Greste is also unable to appeal the verdict since unlike his colleagues, he wasn’t present for the ruling.