An Egyptian court sentences three Al Jazeera TV journalists to three years in prison for operating without a license and broadcasting material harmful to Egypt. Nathan Frandino reports.
In a Cairo court room packed with the press, Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed learned on Saturday that they'd be going back to prison. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) JUDGE HASSAN FARID, SAYING: "Sentenced to three years in prison for what they have been accused of." The two, along with their colleague Peter Greste, were sentenced in a retrial for operating without a press license and broadcasting material harmful to Egypt. The case has triggered international outcry with rights advocates condemning Egypt for cracking down on free speech. Fahmy's lawyer, Amal Clooney, said they would appeal the verdict. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAWYER FOR DEFENDANT MOHAMED FAHMY, AMAL CLOONEY, SAYING: "The verdict today sent a very dangerous message in Egypt, it sends the message that journalists can be locked up for simply doing their job, for telling the truth and reporting the news, and it sends a dangerous message that there are judges in Egypt who will allow their courts to become instruments of political repression and propaganda.'' The three journalists were arrested in 2013 for allegedly aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Greste, who was deported to his native Australia in February, said he was shocked. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AL JAZEERA JOURNALIST, PETER GRESTE, SPEAKING INTO CAMERA, SAYING: "The fact is that this is a wrong, this is unjust, this is unethical, this is immoral at so many levels, this cannot be allowed to stand. And so we will do everything we can to fight the verdict to clear our names." The three men were originally sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison.