CAIRO: The released Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy, who was released after a 10-month detainment, said he stood with his colleagues who were found guilty Monday and sentenced to 7 years in prison.
“Standing for my detained colleagues in Egypt. We will not back down from telling the truth,” reads the tweet on his account.
Three Al Jazeera English reporters were sentenced Monday to different in prison; Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy were each sentenced to seven years, with Baher receiving an additional three years on charges of possession of ammunition.
They were arrested in December 2013 and were charged with reporting false news and aiding a terrorist group. Following the July 2013 ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the Qatari network has been seen in Egypt as a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was designated a terrorist organization December 25, 2013.
The verdicts were passed on the three reporters and 20 co-defendants in the case known as the “Marriott Cell,” were widely condemned and rejected by a number of foreign governments, as well as international and local human rights organizations.
A number of Egyptian ambassadors abroad were summoned to comment on the verdict; Attorney General Hisham Barakat’s office, however, has dismissed the summons as “interference in the state’s internal affairs.”
Elshamy was arrested Aug. 14, 2013 and started a hunger strike Jan. 21 to protest his renewed detention. He was released June 16 pending his trial, after he reportedly lost a third of his body weight and his health deteriorated after more than 120 days without food.