Three imprisoned Al-Jazeera journalists, who were convicted by an Egyptian court for their alleged ties with Islamist groups, filed appeals against the ruling on Thursday.
The three Al-Jazeera reporters -- Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed -- were convicted in June for allegedly aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt by spreading its propaganda and producing false news reports that Egypt was in a state of “civil war,” an Agence France-Presse report said.
“Lawyers for the jailed Al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt have today filed appeals against their convictions,” the report cited Qatar-based Al Jazeera as saying. "The weaknesses in the case have been widely protested and ridiculed, and much of the public criticism is reflected in the grounds for appeal.”
Al Jazeera said that the Court of Cassation -- a court that interprets a country's law -- would hear the case and “will examine the grounds for hearing a full appeal,” but added that a date has not yet been assigned.
Five key issues were cited as grounds for appeal by the network including points such as “flaws in the arrest procedure” and “the fact that evidence presented in court did not marry with the charges.”
Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English, reportedly said: "The appeal will lay bare the flaws in the case against Peter, Baher and Mohammed," adding: "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 convictions, which sparked international outrage, saw Greste and Fahmy receiving prison sentences of seven years each while Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Eleven other defendants were tried by the Egyptian courts in absentia, including two British reporters and one Dutch journalist, who were sentenced to 10-year jail terms, the report said.