Readers of this blog know that one of the stories we’ve been following has been the plight of the non-governmental workers who were charged with crimes related to their journalistic activities in Egypt.  

The reason that this story is appropriate for a blog about INTERPOL is that Egypt sought Red Notices for those workers who had left the country prior to the charges being filed.  INTERPOL properly rejected Egypt’s request for those Red Notices because of the political nature of the charges.

Now we have the disappointing news that 43 NGO workers, both Egyptian and non-Egyptian, have been found guilty of the charges.  The story is here.

Those individuals who managed to leave Egypt prior to the trial, or prior to sentencing, are unlikely to ever serve their sentences because of the fact that they are not Red Notice subjects and that INTERPOL’s channels will not be used to facilitate their extradition.  They will, however, need to use caution when travelling abroad, and will need to consider the diplomatic relations between the countries they visit and Egypt.  

The international community benefits immensely from the work of people such as those who were recently convicted, and to the extent that this case has a chilling effect on journalistic efforts, the international community will also suffer.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.