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UK Ambassador in Cairo Summoned for Interference in Egyptian Judiciary Affairs

August 31, 2015
UK Ambassador in Cairo, John Casson, after Saturday’s verdict against the al-Jazeera journalists. -[Courtesy of UK Embassy in Cairo]
UK Ambassador in Cairo, John Casson, after Saturday’s verdict against the al-Jazeera journalists. [Courtesy of UK Embassy in Cairo]

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry called for John Casson, the UK ambassador in Cairo, on Sunday to condemn the comments he made following the sentencing of three Al-Jazeera journalists on Saturday.

The ministry stated that the comments made were “unacceptable interference” and that it is “incompatible with diplomatic norms and practices.”

Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Ministry’s official spokesman, took to Twitter to voice the ministry’s issues with Casson’s comments. “Egypt rejects any foreign criticism of judicial verdicts, considers it unacceptable intrusion in rulings of the Egyptian judiciary,” Abu Zeid tweeted.

While the sentencing was heavily criticized by the EU, the US and a huge network of human rights organizations, such as the UN and Amnesty International, Casson was the only one who received criticism from Egyptian authorities.

The British Embassy in Cairo stated that the Ambassador has met with Hisham Seif el-Din, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s chief of staff, on Sunday. “Ambassador Casson explained the UK’s stand in regards to Saturday’s verdict and clarified the comments that were made in Cairo and the London office,” stated the embassy. “The Ambassador will voice the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s concerns to London.”

The trial of the three journalists and their sentencing has caused uproar, and as Amal Clooney put it, “is a dangerous sign.”

In an interview with BBC following the verdict, Amal Clooney said “the conviction was tarnishing Egypt’s reputation when the thing that the international community condemns Egypt for is this case and similar cases.”

“I believe we all know what’s at stake,” she added. “It’s media freedom in Egypt and in the region. This is a case that’s going to set a precedent one way or another. And it’s also about the integrity of the judicial process.”

Comments (14)

  1. inti says:


    1. egyptian says:

      STFU idiot – Thank God for Al SISI – best president Egypt has ever had!

    2. Dr. Randa says:

      I am ashamed to be living in the same country with you “egyptian”.
      Try to analyze the facts at another view before forcing your opinion on others.

    3. egyptian says:

      im ashamed there are Egyptians like you exist! What facts to analyse? Are you kidding me? And instead if looking at yhe comment above mine, you. Stood at mine and made a big deal. seriously, just go and remove your egyptian citizenship if you got one. If you cant see what im talking about, plz remove your egyptian citizenship.

  2. jamesceo says:

    I believe that sovereignty comes with responsibility and if nations behave in an irresponsible manner then they can not expect to have their sovereignty respected

    1. Key says:

      The defendants had no license to operate as journalists and are not registered with the Journalists’ Syndicate or the State Information Services authority. Arrogance similar to your statement as well as continuous EU and US insults are a result of turning a blind eye at the facts and then attempting to justify how criminals if they are not inline with the “West’s” agenda are deemed innocent.

    2. inti says:

      You are just regurgitating Al Si si Mafia government. You are a fool!

    3. Elisa Calesterio says:

      Very well said…. you couldn’t have said it much better….

    4. Key says:

      God bless you Elisa. The hypocrisy of the West needs to be called out. The so called “free press” of the west reeks of yellow journalism, a complete opposite of being “free”. This goes for al Jazeera as well, which is often more propaganda than any Egyptian can stomach. Maybe Egypt’s actions on this outcome will make them think twice about feeling “free to lie”! Yet if they continue drowning in their arrogance it still sends a strong message that Egypt will not tolerate any of their twisted deceptions. Western press would have better standards if they were ever held accountable for their continuous lies and cover ups.

    5. jamesceo says:

      Elisa and Key; I understand your point of view and I don’t expect nor try to change your point of view; you are obviously supporters of the current Egyptian authorities. However, in a free and just society people who choose to ‘write’ for a living do NOT go to prison for a crime such as you describe; your reasoning is they are “not registered with the Journalists’ Syndicate or the State Information Services authority”. These types of ‘conditions’ you refer to are insidious traps designed by your ‘fearful’ authorities to limit free speech and the freedom of movement. In a free and just world nations carry the responsibility to protect society from such insidious reasoning but instead, your Egyptian authorities wish only to protect themselves at the expense of the people rights; the opposite of ‘justice’. I stated simply that “sovereignty comes with responsibility” and Key refers to my statement as ‘arrogance’ !!! Now that is ignorant!

    6. Key says:

      Jamesceo, there is no short answer to your blurred views on Egyptian affairs. I used to be surprised at comments from foreigners regarding their fairy tale views on Egypt’s internal affairs but soon realized that most westerners are more of a
      follower type heard as opposed to Egyptians who constantly question their media and government. How did you envision us kicking these MB terrorists out of Egypt? By supporting our authorities or by staying united 90 million strong in believing
      in what’s right? The world needs to take note but alas your mainstream media will NEVER portray the true side for fear of revealing the foreign destructive agenda targeting Egypt.

      Having mentioned that let’s apply your contradictory “free and just society” statement in the context of the west. Britain’s press for instance has long lacked the freedom that his Arrogant Eminence Mr. Casson is lecturing Egypt about regarding the definition of freedom and constitutional rights – despite journalists in his own country lack constitutional rights.

      A prime example is: back in 2013, when the Guardian newspaper produced a publication based on documents from the National Security Agency that were leaked by Edward Snowden. Both the US and British public had the right to know about N.S.A.’s spying on private communications. Especially when events unfolded where the UK prime minister David Cameron sent one of his assistants to practice “pressures” on the Guardian in order to destroy classified documents that they received from Snowden. British authorities then went ahead and arrested David Miranda the Guardian partner and the assistant journalist Glenn Greenwald. Further to these journalist arrests the freedom of press in England was under parliamentary and criminal inquisition. What kind of freedom is the west enjoying that you speak highly of where intelligence agencies are collecting information on phone calls, emails and Internet use of private citizens? What kind of freedom is it you are gloating about where what you call “free society” or the “freedom of press” is under parliamentary and criminal inquisition? Snowden is just one of many examples that limit free speech in western societies that are typically instigated by “fearful western authorities”.

      As for Egypt the Al Aljazeera case is quite the opposite in a sense where three unlicensed men were proven guilty in a court of law for a not only unlicensed (which is sufficient to deem it criminal) however they conducted money laundry and criminal acts in Egypt. Their network paid people from around Egypt essentially to play protesters on television, in a potentially hazardous deception. Hired “collaborators” got equipment to film staged demonstrations and sent with portable broadcast equipment (TVUs), protest footage to air on Al Jazeera’s Mubasher Misr Channel [translated as Egypt Live] from Doha. Unlike the west all this was executed while the Egyptian authorities allowed for free speech and free flow of information. This my arrogant posting member goes to show you that however which way you look at it there are much more freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Egypt than ‘Mafia’ England and the US combined, let alone any other country on the African continent.

      Long live Egypt free and independent.

    7. egyptian says:

      Thank you key – Well Said – I support what you said 100%

    8. egyptian says:

      We believe you and your likes should mind your own business and get your nose out of our affairs- when something doesn’t suit your interests you talk . otherwise when our nations are threatened by collapse – you remove yourselves and offer no help – Hypocritical Westerners. only talk when it suits you!