The nonsensical “evidence” Egypt used to convict Al Jazeera’s journalists


The sentencing of Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, three Al Jazeera journalists, to a collective 24 years today on charges of “airing false news” that harmed Egypt’s security shocked Australian officials, their employer and their families. It is also expected to raise serious questions about the legitimacy of Egypt’s judiciary, because of the mystifying way the trial was conducted and the sentence reached.

“Not a shred of evidence was found to support the extraordinary and false charges against them,” Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said after the sentencing, echoing other critics. “At no point during the long drawn out ‘trial’ did the absurd allegations stand up to scrutiny.”

The trial of the three journalists, which started in February after their arrests in December, relied heavily on evidence culled from their personal possessions, but prosecutors never made any link between the innocuous-seeming material presented and the…

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