On Monday, an Egyptian court convicted three international journalists from Al Jazeera’s English-language network along with 15 others of conspiring with “terrorists” to harm national unity. Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Australian Peter Greste received seven-year sentences; Egyptian Baher Mohamed got an extra three years for possessing a single spent bullet, a souvenir from his reporting on the country’s street protests.

The journalists were arrested while covering a demonstration in #Cairo and accused of aiding the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood. They were imprisoned for six months, and during 13 trial sessions Egyptian authorities did not produce any evidence to support their allegations. None.   

Strong professional journalism and the right for people to peaceably voice their opinions are essential ingredients of a democratic society.  As President al-Sisi begins his tenure as Egypt’s leader, he has the opportunity to propel his country down a positive path towards an inclusive political process that fosters universal rights and freedoms for all Egyptians.  His government has widespread support.  For that reason, #Egypt has no need to imprison journalists -- or to take many of the other repressive measures we have seen during recent months.  It should instead focus its attention on helping get Egypt back on its feet -- revitalizing the national economy and helping its young people get new jobs and opportunities. http://goo.gl/US8pab
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