A court in Egypt sentenced six people, including two Al Jazeera journalists, to death on Saturday for revealing state secrets to Qatar in a case related to former president Mohamed Morsi, the first elected president of Egypt who was later deposed and arrested by the military. The people who have been sentenced can appeal the verdict.
The verdict will be referred to Egypt's mufti, the highest Sunni religious leader in the country, after which it would either be approved or reduced in June 2016. The court is free to reject the mufti's recommendations, Al Jazeera reported.
The prosecution had accused Morsi and 10 others of selling state secrets to Qatar for money. Hearing for Morsi's case, who was also charged with espionage, was adjourned on Saturday. He has already been sentenced in three other trials. He had received a death sentence, a life term and 20 years in prison, according to Euro News.
In 2015, Egypt had sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to three years in jail. They were found guilty of aiding a terrorist organisation. The three journalists were later freed, reported Al Jazeera.
Newspapers, including the state-owned Al Ahram, in Egypt had revolted on May 5 over the clampdown on freedom of press in the country. They were protesting against the arrest of two journalists who were apprehended by the police in a raid in Cairo earlier this week.
The newspapers printed the interior minister's photograph in the negative form in protest against the state's actions. At least 20 journalists have been detained in line of work, according to the Egyptian Press Syndicate.