Saturday, June 18, 2016

Al Jazeera condemns Egypt death sentences. Verdicts can be appealed

Al Jazeera has strongly condemned the death sentence for espionage against two of the network's journalists by an Egyptian court, in what human rights groups have dismissed as a politicised case and a sham trial.

The court on Saturday confirmed the death sentence of six people, including Ibrahim Helal, former director of news at Al Jazeera's Arabic channel, for allegedly passing state secrets to Qatar.

Helal is not in Egypt and was tried in absentia.

Alaa Sablan, who was an Al Jazeera employee until last year, and Asmaa Alkhatib, a journalist with the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Rassd News Network, were also sentenced to death in absentia.

Mohamed Morsi, the deposed Egyptian president who was the case's top defendant, and two of his aides were sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Morsi and his secretary, Amin el-Sirafy, each received an additional 15-year sentence for a lesser crime. Sirafy's daughter, Karima, was also sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Of the case's 11 defendants, seven, including Morsi, are in custody. All of Saturday's verdicts can be appealed....

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