Sentencing of Al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt ‘chilling,’ Kerry says

BY Associated Press  June 23, 2014 at 11:25 AM EDT

Video still by PBS NewsHour

Video still by PBS NewsHour

BAGHDAD — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that the sentencing of three Al-Jazeera journalists in Cairo to 7-to 10-year prison terms is chilling. He says he is voicing his concern to Egypt’s foreign minister.

Kerry says the verdict flies in the face of the essential ingredients of a civil society and free press. He urged Egypt to move quickly to address international concerns.

The verdicts on terrorism charges against the three — Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohammed — come after a five-month trial that Amnesty International describe as a “sham.” The three contend they were prosecuted for doing their jobs as journalists.