Lawyers for the jailed Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt filed appeals against their convictions Thursday.
The weaknesses in the case have been widely protested and ridiculed, and much of the public criticism is reflected in the grounds for appeal.
The case will next be heard before the Court of Cassation, which will examine the grounds for hearing a full appeal. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.
Today’s submission to the court rests on the breaches of process in the case. These include:
• Flaws in the arrest procedure
• The fact that evidence presented in court did not marry with the charges
• Prosecution expert technical witnesses submitted statements which were somehow verbatim
• The journalists were accused of editing footage, but without originals, no one could have known whether they were in fact edited
• The judge’s verdict made mention of lack of accreditation, but this is not a criminal offence Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English, said, “The appeal will lay bare the flaws in the case against Peter, Baher and Mohammed. These are three outstanding journalists who were just doing their jobs, and journalism is not a crime.
We look forward to them being exonerated in due course. We will not stop in this quest till they are reunited with their families, and back doing the jobs they love.”
The campaign to free the three – Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste, and Mohammed Fahmy – received a further boost this week when leading international and human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin said they should be released, saying that the case was an example of how to set up a “kangaroo court.”
Amal Alamuddin, a leading international and human rights lawyer boosted the campaign to free the three – Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste, and Mohammed Fahmy by lobbying for the release of the journalists. He described the case as a “kangaroo court.”
Peter Greste, the Correspondent, Mohamed Fahmy, the Producer, and Baher Mohamed, the Producer were found guilty of reporting false news which was associated with the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
The three journalists have been in custody since December 2013. Aljazeera denied the allegations against its journalists and several world leaders including the UN Secretary General have called for the release of the journalists.
The twitter hashtag #FreeAJStaff has been trending globally to demand the release of the journalists.