The verdict was down by an Egyptian court sentencing 6 people including two Al Jazeera journalists over “Qatar Spying Case”.
The six people, together with former Egypt President Mohamed Morsey and his aides, were accused on 2013 of leaking state secrets to Qatar.
The court decision last Saturday was handed supporting the verdict of Egypt’s religious leaders upon the case. In addition to the two former Al Jazeera correspondents , a reporter from Rasd media channel also among those convicted.
The journalists was tried in absentia. The convicted journalists are former news director of Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel: Ibrahim Mohammed Helal, former Al Jazeera producer Alaa Omar Mohammed Sablan, and Rasd reporter Asmaa Mohammed al-Khatib.
Meanwhile, the other defendants were also sentenced to death and remain on custody of the police. The former Egypt president was been ousted last 2013 and found guilty due to his membership on now banned Muslim Brotherhood, but acquitted because of espionage together with his aides.
Morsey and his aides were sentenced 25 years in prison and additional 15 years for lesser charges, but all cases can be appealed. The Al Jazeera network issued a statement condemning the court decision and see it as “unjust” and “politicized.”
Furthermore, the Qatar-based network also finds the court decision as a ruthless campaign against freedom of speech, expression and incriminating the profession of journalism.
Mostefa Souog, acting director general of Al Jazeera media network, noted that country is classified under the most dangerous place for media people to work in.
According to the 2016 Press Freedom Index, Egypt ranks 159th out of 180 countries all over the world.