Group sentenced to death by Egypt court
An Egyptian court has recommended the death sentence against six people, including two Al Jazeera employees, for allegedly passing documents related to national security to Qatar and the Doha-based TV network during the rule of former president Mohammed Morsi. A verdict on Morsi, ousted by the military in July 2013 after one year in office, and four other defendants in the case, will be announced June 18, judge Mohammed Shirin Fahmy announced. Morsi’s co-defendants include his office director and private secretary. The two Al Jazeera employees - identified by the judge as news producer Alaa Omar Mohammed and news editor Ibrahim Mohammed Hilal - were sentenced in absentia along with Asmaa Al Khateib, who worked for Rasd, a media network widely suspected of links to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was banned and declared a terrorist group after Morsi’s ouster. “Al Jazeera media network rejects the absurd allegations that they [Mohammed and Hilal] were in collaboration with the elected government of Mohammed Morsi,” a spokesman for Al-Jazeera said in an email to The Associated Press. Last year, President Abdel-Fattah El Sissi pardoned two imprisoned journalists from the Al Jazeera.