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Journalists protest against 7-year jail terms given to 3 al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt
World | society | 15:51, 24 June 2014 | 884

AKIPRESS.COM - _75766345_protest2Hundreds of journalists have gathered in London to protest against the seven-year jail terms given to three al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt.

A court in Cairo found Australia's Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed guilty of spreading false news.

The trio had denied the charges and are expected to appeal, BBC said Tuesday.

Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday he would not "interfere" with the judiciary which he described as independent.

Earlier, Australian FM Julie Bishop told the BBC Canberra would work with the Egyptian government to try to secure Mr Greste's release "as soon as possible".

"We support Egypt's transition to democracy, but that also includes freedom of speech and press."

Ms Bishop also ruled out imposing sanctions on Egypt, saying it was "not helpful at this stage".

The father of Mr Greste told reporters in Brisbane that the family was "devastated" and "shocked" by the verdict.

"This is a very dark time, not only for our family but for journalism generally," Juris Greste said, describing the ruling as a "slap in the face" to "all fair-minded people around the world".

"Journalism is not a crime, or you should all be behind bars,'' he added.

But Mr Greste's parents were reluctant to criticise the Egyptian judicial system, reports the BBC's Jon Donnison in Sydney, aware that might hinder the ongoing diplomatic efforts to put pressure on the Egyptian government.

Hopes are now pinned on the possibility of a pardon from Egyptian President Sisi, our correspondent says.

Related news:

Egypt sentences 3 Al-Jazeera reporters to 7 years

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