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June 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In a verdict that was greeted with outrage by virtually every news organization in the world, three members of Al Jazeera English were sentenced by an Egyptian court to 7-10 years in prison after being found guilty of conspiring with Egypt’s former Muslim Brotherhood leaders, spreading false news, and endangering national security. The journalists, Peter Greste (a former CNN correspondent), Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed were arrested last December and had been behind bars since, pending the outcome of their trial. Moments before the verdict, Greste tweeted: "Just waiting on the judge now. It looks as though we are first up and should receive a verdict soonish." There were no further tweets after the verdict was delivered. Ruth Pollard, Middle East correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald (Greste is an Australian), reported that following the verdict "pandemonium" broke out in the courtroom, with families of the defendants shouting and weeping. In a statement posted on the news organization’s website, Al Jazeera English Managing Director Al Anstey said that the defendants had been found guilty "of covering stories with great skill and integrity. ‘Guilty’ of defending people’s right to know what is going on in their world."