Egypt upheld the verdicts against six defendants for “leaking state secrets to Qatar.” Former President Mohammed Morsi had a 25-year sentence upheld.
An Egyptian court upheld the death sentences of six defendants, including two Al-Jazeera reporters, for “leaking state secrets to Qatar.” The court ruling is the final one.
Al-Jazeera is owned by Qatar and is hated by the Egyptian state for it’s staunchly pro-Muslim Brotherhood editorial line.
Although the original verdict was handed down in May, the court had to wait for the assent of Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, who signs off on all death sentences. According to Al-Jazeera, although his opinion is not binding, it is normally respected by the courts.
Those sentenced to death included the former head of Egypt’s Al-Jazeera Arabic bureau Ibrahim Helal, who is not in Egypt and was tried in absentia.
Former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi and two of his aides also had a sentence of 25 years imprisonment confirmed for the same crime. He faces the death penalty as well on other charges. A total of 11 people had their sentences confirmed.
Last year, Egypt released Mohammed Fahmy, the former head of Al-Jazeera English and Baher Mohamed, an Al-Jazeera journalist. Fahmy later founded an organization devoted to fighting for a free press worldwide and spoke