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"We will not interfere in judicial rulings," Sisi said in a televised speech at a military graduation ceremony in Cairo. "We must respect judicial rulings and not criticize them even if others do not understand this."
The three have been held at Egypt’s notorious Tora Prison for six months. Al Jazeera and the BBC held a silent protest 24 hours after the verdicts in solidarity with the detained journalists.
The sentences were widely criticized by rights groups and Western governments, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling them "chilling and draconian" and the U.N. warning of "a risk that miscarriage of justice is becoming the norm in Egypt."
Kerry — who met with Sisi in Cairo the day before the ruling was handed down and raised the issue of the journalists — said Monday, “When I heard about the verdict today I was so concerned about it, frankly, disappointed in it, that I immediately picked up the telephone and talked to the foreign minister of Egypt and registered our serious displeasure at this kind of verdict.”
Egypt's Foreign Ministry issued a statement Monday saying that it "rejects any comment from a foreign party that casts doubt on the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and the justice of its verdicts."
Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said in a statement Monday, “There is only one sensible outcome now — for the verdict to be overturned and justice to be recognized by Egypt.”
Sisi was elected last month, less than a year after removing President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Brotherhood, after mass protests against his rule. The Brotherhood, which says it is a peaceful organization, was banned and declared a terrorist group after Morsi was toppled.
Morsi has been in jail since his ouster and is on trial for inciting the killing of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012. He also faces charges of espionage in collaboration with the Palestinian group Hamas.