Egypt: Retrial of Al Jazeera journalists must pave way to their unconditional freedom
By Sarah Ford on January 6, 2015
Source: Amnesty International
An Egyptian court’s call for a retrial of three jailed Al Jazeera journalists acknowledges major flaws in the original convictions but leaves the men in unjust incarceration, Amnesty International said today.
“By calling for a retrial the Egyptian courts are prolonging the injustice that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed have faced,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.
“These men should never have been jailed in the first place and should not have to spend one more day in prison. Instead of prolonging their unjust detention pending a retrial, they must be freed immediately.”
The Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest court of law, ruled that there had been procedural failings in the trial of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed. The three are now set to face a retrial.
The trio are serving sentences of between seven and 10 years for “falsifying news” and involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which the authorities allege is involved in terrorism-related activity.
The Court of Cassation did not review the facts of the case and does not have the power to acquit the men of the charges against them. However, it found that the court that jailed the men had not followed correct legal procedures.
An Amnesty International trial observer recorded several irregularities and examples of complete ineptitude during the trial proceedings.