(BEIRUT) -- Three journalists have been sentenced to at least seven years in prison in Egypt for alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The three work for the Al Jazeera English television network and have long denied any connection with the Brotherhood.
The journalists are Australian correspondent Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy and their Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed, who was given 10 years because of extra charges. The three were arrested in December as part of a sweeping crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
The evidence against them was virtually non existent -- widely seen as flimsy at best. Human rights activists and diplomats have dismissed the proceedings as a charade to stamp out dissent.
Monday's verdict was met with outrage among fellow journalists.
In a statement, Al Jazeera English said that the verdict, "defies logic, sense, and any semblance of justice."
It comes just a day after Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo and met with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Speaking to journalists, Kerry said that he and Sisi discussed the Al Jazeera case and that Sisi had given him assurances that he plans to re-evaluate human rights legislation and the judicial system.
There is an appeals process after which newly elected-President al-Sisi can pardon the journalists.
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