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Al-Jazeera journalists sentenced to three years in prison by Egyptian court

Three Al-Jazeera journalists have been sentenced to three years in jail by a court in Egypt after being convicted of "spreading false news".

Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed were sentenced on Saturday at a retrial in Cairo. Greste was on trial in absentia having been deported to Australia earlier this year.

The three journalists were originally sentenced in July 2014, with Greste and Fahmy receiving seven years and Mohamed 10 years, before their convictions were overturned in January following an international outcry.

But at today's sentencing judge Hassan Farid said he arrived at his decision because the three men were not registered with the country's journalist syndicate and brought into Egypt equipment not approved by officials. He also said they had spread "false news".

Al-Jazeera condemned the verdict, saying it "defies logic and common sense".

General Dr Mostefa Souag, Al Jazeera Media Network’s acting director, said: "Today’s verdict is yet another deliberate attack on press freedom. It is a dark day for the Egyptian judiciary; rather than defend liberties and a free and fair media they have compromised their independence for political reasons.”

The news organisation said it would continue to campaign for the journalists' freedom. The term #FreeAJStaff has trended on Twitter this morning as fellow journalists show their solidarity.

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