Sisi Regrets Trying Al Jazeera Journos

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi admitted his regrets about the harsh sentences given to three Al Jazeera journalists last month, but he is not changing his tune toward their punishment. Egypt’s Al-Masry Al-Youm, a private newspaper, quoted Sisi as saying, “I wished they were deported right after they were arrested instead of getting put on trial.” He acknowledged the trial and sentencing has “had very negative consequences” on Egypt’s global reputation. Australian journalist Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian acting bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed were convicted of aiding a “terrorist group,” a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood. Greste and Fahmy received seven years in prison while Mohammed received 10. However, Sisi never indicated he would grant clemency to the journalists and diminished his role in the sentencing, saying of the verdict, “We had nothing to do with it.”