The Anatomy of an Unfair Trial

August 18, 2014 9:19 PM

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The Anatomy of an Unfair Trial

Sentencing a political opponent to death after a show trial is no different to taking him out on the street and shooting him. In fact, it is worse because using the court system as a tool of state repression makes a mockery of the rule of law. Egypt's constitution guarantees the right to be presumed innocent. And yet in a recent case, an Egyptian judge -- after a "trial" lasting 100 minutes -- sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death. Egypt's constitution also guarantees freedom of speech, yet many journalists languish behind bars.

Three journalists working for the Al Jazeera English news network -- Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohamed -- are among them. Mr. Fahmy used to work for CNN and the New York Times. Mr. Greste worked for the BBC and had only been in Egypt for a few days before his...

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