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Two Al-Jazeera journalists walk free after pardon in Egypt

Cairo: Ahead of Eid-ul Adha, two Al-Jazeera journalists today walked free after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pardoned them along with 98 others who were charged with supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and violating
PTI September 23, 2015 22:50 IST
PTI

Cairo: Ahead of Eid-ul Adha, two Al-Jazeera journalists today walked free after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pardoned them along with 98 others who were charged with supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and violating the controversial protest law.

Presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef said the two Al-Jazeera colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were among the pardoned group of 100 prisoners.

Following the announcement, Fahmy and Mohamed were dropped off by officials in Maadi near here.

Canadian Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed did not appear to be on the list when it was first published, nor did Australian Peter Greste, who was deported in February.

Fahmy was sentenced to three years in prison last month on charges of joining an outlawed group - the Muslim Brotherhood - obstructing governmental institutions and law, attacking the personal liberty of citizens and harming national unity and social peace.

Read Also: Egypt sentences 3 Al-Jazeera reporters to 3 years in prison

Fahmy, whose initial arrest was in December 2013, had a dual Egyptian-Canadian nationality but gave up his Egyptian nationality in an effort to get deported.

Mohamed, who was charged in the same case, was also pardoned. He was jailed for three years on charges of aiding the Brotherhood and handed an extra three-year term for his alleged possession of a spent bullet.

Their detention and trial sparked global criticism who has said he wished the journalists had been deported from the outset rather than put on trial.

Their arrest in 2013 came at a time of deadly crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood following Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi's overthrow by the military.