Three Al Jazeera journalists accused of supporting the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood have been sentenced to seven years in jail in Egypt.

Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed were convicted of spreading false news and supporting the banned group that was led by former president Mohamed Morsi by a Cairo court.

Nine foreign journalists, including Britons Sue Turton, and Dominic Kane were also tried in absentia and received 10-year sentences for “airing false news” and “collaborating with the Egyptians by providing them with money, equipment, information”.

The trial has been widely condemned as being politicised, with governments and media organisations calling for the journalists’ release.

Qatar-based news organisation Al Jazeera, which rose to prominence worldwide for its coverage of the Arab Spring and the overthrow of former-president Hosni Mubarak, has been banned from operating in Egypt after authorities accused it of supporting Mohamed Morsi and the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian President and former leader of the Egyptian Armed Forces Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been accused of censoring the media after the military seized control of Egypt from Morsi on 3 July 2013.

Since El Sisi seized power the media Egyptian media has fallen back on editorial policies fro the Mubarak era, lionising El Sisi and the military and demonising the opposition, says Index on Censorship. Journalists, such as Belal Fadl, who question El Sis’s leadership are pushed towards resignation, and satirists, such as Bassem Youssef, who have found huge audiences by poking fun at the regime find their shows cancelled.


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