In December 2013, shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood was deemed a terrorist organization in Egypt and banned, Ray Suarez spoke to journalist Peter Greste for the story.
Three days later, Greste's hotel room was stormed by Egyptian police. He and two Al Jazeera colleagues — Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed — were arrested on charges of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood because they continued reporting on the group after the ban.
Another Al Jazeera journalist, Abdullah Elshamy, was also jailed, without charge. Last week he was released on medical grounds after spending 147 days on a hunger strike.
The other three journalists had their sentences read Monday, and outrage echoed through the courtroom. Greste and Fahmy were sentenced to seven years in prison. Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years for possessing ammunition — a bullet casing he found on the ground during a protest.
Other journalists tried in absentia were sentenced to 10 years.
Egyptian prosecutors produced outlandish evidence, including a podcast that Greste worked on when he worked for the BBC, family photos from vacations in Europe and an Australian music video from his laptop.
Al Jazeera has always rejected the charges and maintains that the journalists were just doing their jobs by reporting all sides of the story.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met face to face with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday and lobbied for the release of the journalists.
"Today's conviction is obviously a chilling and draconian sentence," Kerry said the morning of the sentence.
"It simply cannot stand if Egypt is going to be able to move forward in the way that Egypt needs to move forward in order to respond to the extraordinary aspirations of those young people who twice came into Tahrir Square in order to demand a responsive government."
After Mohamed Morsi was ousted last year, the United States froze $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt.
Kerry told Sisi that the U.S. would now release more than $500 million dollars in aid, including the delivery of 10 Apache helicopters.
What can governments do to protect reporters in a foreign country?
Will Egypt pay any price in the international community for these verdicts?
How will this affect the Egyptian-U.S. relationship?
We consulted a panel of experts for the Inside Story.