Egypt jails more Al Jazeera staff
January 31 2019 11:52 PM
Al Jazeera

DPA Cairo

An Egyptian criminal court convicted 26 people on Thursday for 'joining an illegal group', namely for working with Al Jazeera and other television stations it deemed anti-government.

The court sentenced five people to 15 years in prison, and 21 others got a five-year sentence.

Nine defendants are in custody, and 17 were tried in absentia.

Two other defendants in the case were acquitted.

The court said some of the convicted worked with the Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera.

Others were TV presenters with the Turkey-based Asharq and Mekameleen broadcasters, both established after the 2013 ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Months after Mursi's ouster, Egyptian authorities declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation and since then they have detained thousands of people.

Al Jazeera's journalist Mahmoud Hussein has completed two years in an Egyptian prison without charges, trial or conviction, in December last year.

Hussein's detention is now in violation of both Egyptian and international law, with the former setting 24 months as the maximum period for pre-trial detention.

Egypt has accused Al Jazeera of broadcasting false news and receiving foreign funds to defame state institutions, but Hussein has yet to be formally charged.

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