Egypt summons UK ambassador in row over al-Jazeera convictions

August 31, 2015, Cairo, Egypt,

Britain’s ambassador to Egypt has been summoned to a meeting with officials in Cairo after they accused him of “unacceptable interference” with the judiciary over comments he made about the convictions of three al-Jazeera journalists.

John Casson

spoke out after attending a hearing on Saturday in which Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste were sentenced for three years in jail for working as journalists without a licence for the television news channel.

He said he was shocked by the sentences and concerned that it would “undermine confidence in the basis of Egypt’s stability, both in Egypt and abroad.”

Egypt’s foreign ministry expressed a “strong objection” to Casson’s comments, describing them as an “incompatible with the norms of diplomatic practices”, according to a statement on its official Facebook page.

The British embassy in Cairo later said Casson met Hisham Seif al-Din, chief of staff to the foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, at the request of the Egyptian foreign ministry.

“Ambassador Casson explained the UK position on yesterday’s court ruling set out in statements in London and Cairo yesterday, especially in light of the fact that two British nationals are involved in the case,” the statement said.

Source- The Guardian

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