LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 (Karen Butler) — Renowned human-rights barrister Amal Clooney is urging Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi to issue a presidential pardon for a trio of Al-Jazeera English journalists.
Variety said Clooney is representing Canadian citizen Mohammed Fahmy, who was sentenced along with Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohammed to three years behind bars after a retrial.
Egyptian prosecutors have accused the reporters of supporting student-terrorist groups connected with the banned Muslim Brotherhood, however the entertainment industry trade newspaper said no evidence of their alleged associations was presented during the two trials.
The journalists have been battling for their freedom since they were detained in Cairo in late 2013. They were convicted of “spreading false news” last year, then mounted an appeal and were granted a retrial, which ended with their conviction again Saturday.
“The conviction was for tarnishing Egypt’s reputation when the thing that the international community condemns Egypt for is this case and similar cases. This is what’s tarnishing Egypt’s image. I do think that he (Sissi) is aware of that and he has a way to fix it,” Clooney told the BBC.
“I think we all know what’s at stake,” she added. “It’s media freedom in Egypt and in the region. This is a case that’s going to set a precedent one way or another. And it’s also about the integrity of the judicial process.”
Clooney’s husband is film star, director and activist George Clooney.
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