The Egyptian foreign ministry has summoned the British ambassador to object to his comments on a recent court rulingÂ Â to jail two al-Jazeera journalists, escalating the governmentâ€™s defense of its crackdown on dissent.
The two journalists, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, have attracted special attention since theyÂ both have had long careers at respected international news organizations. Mr. Fahmy is a Canadian who recently renounced his Egyptian citizenship and Mr. Mohamed is Egyptian.
A third journalist convicted with them, Peter Greste, an Australian, was deported this year.
The case centers on allegations that Mr. Fahmy, Mr. Mohamed and Mr. Greste, who worked together, conspired with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false news in order to destabilize Egypt.
The prosecutors have not presented any evidence of either collaboration with the Brotherhood or erroneous broadcasts.
Mr. Fahmy, Mr. Mohamed and Mr. Greste were initially jailed at the end of 2013, a few months after Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, now president, led a military coup.