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November 22, 2014

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White House condemns Egypt sentencing reporters

WASHINGTON — The White House is strongly condemning Egypt's prosecution and sentencing of three Al-Jazeera journalists to seven years in prison on claims that they supported the Muslim Brotherhood opposition to Cairo's new government. The White House called for their release.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the journalist prosecutions were all the more disturbing because they come after a succession of prosecutions that are, quote, "incompatible with the basic precepts of human rights and democratic governance."

Earnest said the White House is calling for pardons or sentence commutations for the three journalists and for clemency in all politically motivated sentences.

The journalists have been detained since December. They contend they are being prosecuted simply for doing their jobs as journalists, covering Islamist protests against last year's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

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