Three Al Jazeera English journalists were convicted in Egypt for aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in a ruling that immediately outraged journalists and activists around the world.
Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed had been imprisoned in Cairo since December on charges of conspiring with the Brotherhood, spreading false news and endangering national security. These men have denied that the charges are true. Prosecutors in this case were scrutinized for providing evidence that was made up and irrelevant to the case.
A Cairo judge has sentenced Greste, a Australia native and a former correspondent for BBC, and Fahmy, a former CNN journalist, to seven years behind bars. Mohamed will serve two different sentences; seven years for the first charge and three years for the other. Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator said that the convictions were shocking and “an extremely disturbing sign for the future of the Egyptian press.”
Mariam Yehya Ibrahim, the Sudanese christian who was jailed for not denouncing her faith spoke with CNN last week about recently giving birth in prison. Ibrahim, 27, was refused hospital care for her birth.
“I gave birth chained. Not cuffs but chains on my legs. I couldn’t open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table. I wasn’t attached to the table,” she said. The doctors fear that the birth may have lasting consequences.
Last Thursday she, her husband, and kids walked away free from the prison. But here is the kicker, a day later she was arrested again on charges of falsifying travel documents.
How can you imprison someone because of their faith?
The Obama administration says that there will be more security on flights to the U.S. from Europe and the Middle East.
According to CNN this was brought on because of the concern that terrorists are developing more sophisticated explosives that are designed to avoid airport screening.
Jeh Johnson of Homeland Security says that the Transportation Security Administration will “implement enhanced security measures in the coming days.”
How are they going to do this you ask? TSA will work with airlines and security agencies overseas, the changes will happen at airports in Europe and the Middle East. These measures will not change what travelers can take aboard flights. Passengers might notice additional inspections of shoes and electronics, additional use of scanners designed to detect trace amounts of explosives, and another stage of screening at boarding gates.