UK & World News

  • 24 June 2014, 12:21

Al Jazeera Journalists: Al Sisi 'Will Not Act'

Egypt's newly elected president has said he will not intervene over the jailing of three Al Jazeera journalists despite international condemnation.

Australian PeterGreste, Canadian-Egyptian national Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were jailed for seven years each on Monday for spreading false news and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr Mohamed received an additional three years on a separate charge involving possession of weapons.

World leaders, including Prime Minister David Cameron and Australian PM Tony Abbott, have called on Cairo to review the case, which has been widely seen as being politically motivated.

But in a televised speech at a military graduation ceremony, Egypt's new leader,Abdel Fattahal Sisi, said: "We will not interfere in judicial rulings.

"We must respect judicial rulings and not criticise them even if others do not understand this."

Earlier Mr Greste's parents described his seven-year sentence as "a slap in the face and a kick in the groin".

Speaking at a press conference in Brisbane alongside his wife Lois, JurisGreste said: "We're not usually a family of superlatives, but I have to say ... my vocabulary fails to convey just how shattered we are.

"You can never prepare yourself for something as painful as this."

Sky News and the BBC were among the media organisations to call for the trio's release prior to the verdict.

A number of journalists held a silent protest over the court's decision outside New Broadcasting House in London on Tuesday at 9.41am - the time of the sentencing.

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