Egyptian authorities have summoned the British ambassador to Egypt to discuss what it said was an â€œunacceptable interference in the provisions of the Egyptian judiciaryâ€. Ambassador John Casson made comments relating to the conviction of three al-Jazeera journalists.
John Casson was quoted by al-Bawaba English as saying that Egyptâ€™s stability should not be built on a â€œshaky foundation which deprives people of their rights and undermines the freedom of the press and freedom of expressionâ€. The ambassador made the comment afterÂ attending a hearing on Saturday in which Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste were all sentenced to three years in jail for working as journalists without a press licence.
In a post on Facebook the Egyptian foreign ministry expressed its â€œstrong objectionâ€ to Cassonâ€™s comments, describing them as an â€œincompatible with the norms of diplomatic practicesâ€.
The case of the convicted al-Jazeera journalists has been met with an international outcry and has raised questions over Egyptâ€™s stated commitment to democracy.