Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, has condemned the conviction of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt.
President Rawlings in a statement described the seven to ten-year jail terms handed to the trio on Monday as “very predictable”.
“This should come as no surprise to anybody who has been watching political developments in Egypt for some time now.
“The trial and sentencing of innocent, truth seeking journalists is a reflection on the political mentality of the government. If you are not sure of the colouring and posturing of this government, then the conviction of the journalists is a clear manifestation of who they are.
“It is most unfortunate the one English speaking international media that was bringing out certain truths the BBC and CNN will not put across, should have its reporters treated in such manner,” President Rawlings said.
Australian Peter Greste, journalist Mohamed Fahmy, and local producer Baher Mohamed were jailed for seven, seven and 10 years respectively. Four students and activists indicted in the case were also sentenced to seven years.
The three journalists had been imprisoned since last December accused of spreading false information and endangering national security.
Ten-year sentences were also handed to British journalists Sue Turton and Dominic Kane and the Dutch journalist Rena Netjes, who were tried in absentia.