The News Minute | June 26, 2014 | 6:10 PM IST
Al Jazeera is persistent with its efforts to fight against an Egypt court's decision to imprison three of its journalists on charges of assisting the Muslim Brotherhood.
AL Jazeera executives and correspondents on Wednesday vowed to keep the pressure on the Egyptian government.
Egyptâ€™s judiciary shockingly sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists between seven and 10 years in jail on charges of â€śaiding terrorists and endangering national securityâ€ť fot supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood and producing â€śfalse newsâ€ť against the country's government. One of the journalists and former BBC correspondent Peter Gresle also issued a statement on Thursday which was published on Al Jazeeraâ€™s online website. The statement reads thus:
I am devastated and outraged by Monday's verdict. Throughout this trial, the prosecutor has consistently failed to present a single piece of concrete evidence to support the outrageous allegations against us.
At the same time our lawyers have highlighted countless procedural errors, irregularities and abuses of due process that should have had the entire case thrown out of court many times over.
That is why I intend to do everything I can and consider all possible measures to overturn the conviction. The verdict confirms that our trial was never simply about the charges against us. It has been an attempt to use the court to intimidate and silence critical voices in the media.
That is why I know that our freedom, and more importantly the freedom of Egypt's press will never come without noisy, sustained pressure from individuals , human rights groups, governments and anyone who understand the fundamental importance of a free press to Egypt's fledgling democracy.
We are all grateful for the extraordinary and unprecedented public support that countless people have offered us throughout this ordeal. It has kept us strong and continues to do so. We must all remain committed to fight this gross injustice for as long as necessary.
Marking their protest Al Jazeera had earlier put out a very powerful advertisement in The New York Times before the verdict came out.
The last page of NYT was all butt blank, except for an ad in the bottom that carried a message from Al Jazeera stating â€śThis is what happens when you silence journalistsâ€ť. The ad further appealed for public support.