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The Questionable Justice of Egyptian Courts

Three journalists were convicted and jailed for seven years earlier today by an Egyptian court. Egypt's courts have determined that the reputable journalists conspired to broadcast false news in order to destabilize Egypt, as reported by the New York Times. These journalists have now joined a growing list of thousands in Egypt who are arrested, tried, and jailed for offenses which are questionable by any standard. But this recent harsh sentence handed down to reporters for Al Jazeera, demonstrates the subtle fragility and sensitivity of the Egyptian government to objectivity and its continued use of the judiciary to control dissent.

Mass trials of groups of accused of over 600 and of some 800 at a single court sitting are accommodated by Egyptian courts. Since Morsi's ousting by Egypt's army and the election of the new president there, Egypt has sentenced many protesters to death and long jail sentences. The head of the Muslim Brotherhood has also been sentenced to death among others since the Brotherhood was outlawed. The jailed journalists: Peter Greste, an Australian; Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a dual citizen Canadian; and Egyptian Baher Mohamed - are all reputable journalists who have worked for the likes of the New York Times, the BBC and CNN.

So as United States(US) Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirms the US partnership with Egypt, the government of Egypt must understand that continued military assistance from the West must be tempered with impartial justice and the respect of human rights.