Journalist Baher Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years in prison by an Egyptian court Monday for allegedly helping a “terrorist organization” by publishing lies that harmed Egypt’s national interests. Mohamed is one of the three Al-Jazeera journalists, along with the award-winning Peter Greste and Egyptian bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, who have drawn international support since their arrest at a Cairo hotel on Dec. 29, 2013.
Unlike Greste and Fahmy, relatively little is known about Mohamed. The freelance news producer wrote on his Twitter page, “DAMN, I love my country Egypt” and repeatedly thanked Al-Jazeera for the opportunity to cover the unrest going on in the country.
â€” Baher Ghorab (@Bahrooz) August 30, 2013
Mohamed spent at least 18 months covering the events in Egypt before the trio was taken into custody for allegedly helping the Muslim Brotherhood, which was fighting to oust the Egyptian government. Both Greste and Fahmy were sentenced to seven years, and Mohamed got an additional three years because of a weapons charge.
A letter by Greste from inside prison that was written before the sentence was announced provided more insight into the situation.
“Fahmy and Baher have been accused of being Muslim Brotherood members, so they are being held in the far more draconian ‘Scorpion prison’ built for convicted terrorists,” he wrote.
“Fahmy has been denied the hospital treatment he badly needs for a shoulder injury before our arrest. Both men spend 24 hours a day in their mosquito-infested cells, sleeping on the floors with no books or writing materials to break the soul-destroying tedium.”