Egypt’s President, Al-Sisi Regrets Sentences on Journalists; Says Deportation is PreferredAfrican News, Crime Watch, Latest News, News Monday, July 7th, 2014
Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi has regretted the sentences passed on three Al Jazeera journalists, saying he would rather prefer they were deported.
The newly-sworn in President declared his government had nothing to do with the court ruling and that the “verdict issued against a number of journalists” had had “very negative consequences” on the country’s image.
Mr. al-Sisi whose views on the imprisonment were published on the website of (Egyptian-language) daily newspaper – Al-Masry Al-Youm claimed the sentence has affected the country’s international reputation maintaining that he “wished they were deported immediately after their arrest instead of being put on trial.”
The trial of Australian-born Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed led to widespread criticism after the journalists were accused of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, a group considered a terrorist organization by the current Egyptian government. His former leader, Muhammad Badie was last weekend convicted and given life imprisonment. An Egyptian court slammed 10 years imprisonment on the three journalists on June 23.
The United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister, David Cameron described the sentences as “appalling,” while United States (US) Secretary of State John Kerry posited they were “chilling and draconian.”
Ironically, Mr Kerry visited Mr al-Sisi a day before the sentences were pronounced to renew political ties with the two countries after ousting of former President Mohammad Morsi who was perceived to be running anti –US democratic rule last July.
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