Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s newly elected president, declared that he will not interfere in the judicial verdicts that are made. The statement comes after an international plea against the prison sentences that were given to 3 Al-Jazeera journalists.
3 journalists from Al-Jazeera English were sentenced to jail and diplomats from many countries stepped in and asked that they are dismissed as freedom of speech and press are being broken. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi replied:
“We will not interfere in judicial rulings. We must respect judicial rulings and not criticize them even if others do not understand this.”
The three journalists sentenced are Egyptian, Canadian-Egyptian and Australian. They were jailed for 7 years with claims that they were aiding Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization.
Rights groups and even Western governments criticized the sentence. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, referred to them as being “chilling and draconian”. The UN also warned that there is a “risk that miscarriage of justice is becoming the norm in Egypt.”
The foreign ministry of Egypt issued a statement saying it:
“…rejects any comment from a foreign party that casts doubt on the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and the justice of its verdicts.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is considered as a terrorist organization while it says it is peaceful. The Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group after former president Mohamed Mursi, a member of the Brotherhood, was removed from power.