News / Middle East

Sissi Defends Egyptian Court Rulings

From left, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed listen to the ruling at a court in Cairo, Egypt, June 23, 2014.
From left, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed listen to the ruling at a court in Cairo, Egypt, June 23, 2014.
VOA News
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi says he will not interfere with judicial verdicts, a day after a Cairo court sentenced three Al-Jazeera journalists to seven years in prison on charges of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news.

Sissi said Tuesday during a televised speech that rulings should be respected and not criticized.
 
The seven-year sentences announced Monday for Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed drew harsh reactions from leaders and press freedom groups around the world.
 
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday the Egyptian justice system has the right to make its own decisions, but that Australia was "bewildered" by the ruling.
 
"Yes, we understand the need of the Egyptian government to maintain internal order and to crack down on extremism including the Muslim Brotherhood. But, but, it is important that there be due process. It is important that decisions be made on a fair and just basis. So we will be talking to the Greste family. We will be talking to the Egyptian government about what we can do to try to ensure that Peter Greste comes home as quickly as possible," said Abbott.
 
Peter Greste's father, Juris Greste, told reporters Tuesday in Brisbane that the family will continue to fight until the journalists are free, and called the sentencing a "dark time" for journalism.
 
"Journalism is not a crime or you should all be behind bars. It's as simple as that. This man, our son, Peter, is an award winning journalist. He is not a criminal. He is not a criminal," said Greste.
 
Egypt defended the Cairo court's ruling and rejected foreign reaction as interference in its internal affairs.
 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who met with Egyptian leaders a day before the ruling, was among those who harshly criticized the convictions Monday.
 
"Today's conviction is obviously a chilling and draconian sentence," said Kerry.
 
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for the journalists' release, saying media in Egypt should be "protected, not prosecuted."
 
Al-Jazeera has always maintained its employees were simply reporting the news. 
 
The network's acting General Director Mostefa Souag called the verdict "shocking" and said Al-Jazeera will continue its international campaign to free its journalists.
 
Officials at The Hague and in London have also summoned the respective Egyptian ambassadors over the sentences.
 
Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed were arrested in December at a Cairo hotel where they were working after Egyptian authorities closed the Qatar-based television network's bureau.
 
Last week, Egypt freed another Al-Jazeera journalist who spent 10 months in prison without being charged. Prosecutors ordered the release of Abdullah Elshamy for health reasons after he had been on hunger strike since January to protest his detention.
 
Egyptian authorities have carried out a crackdown on the Brotherhood since Sissi, then the army chief, led the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last July. The crackdown included violently dispersing protests and arresting many of the Brotherhood's leaders.
 
Since Morsi's ouster, Egypt has drafted a new constitution and voted Sissi into office. It plans to hold parliamentary elections later this year.
 
Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kevin Walsh from: Australia
June 24, 2014 10:25 PM
I spent many years in the Australian Army and I regarded myself as a soldier of democracy. Press freedom (sometimes flawed or abused) is a cornerstone of our democracy. Without it there is little or no limits on the powerful which is tyranny. That is why I subscribe to the view that “I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death you right to say it.” I truly believe this, it is a core reason for my military service. The verdict regarding Peter Greste simply cannot be allowed to stand.


by: moamen reda from: Egypt, cairo
June 24, 2014 7:02 PM
i love sisi and accept whatever he does !!

In Response

by: momen reda from: Egypt . cairo
June 27, 2014 12:50 PM
it wasn't a coup . it was revolution by the Egyptian nation ... by the way i hate Islamic rule cause i am secular and i think religion is a way to deceive the nation .

In Response

by: ali from: somewhere
June 25, 2014 3:16 AM
how can you dehumanıse such that . how can you be a supporter of those who made a military coup agaınst a elected government? ıf I do not know something about the situation can you explain it for me?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid