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Egypt president refuses pardon for journalists

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CAIRO, Egypt — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi today rejected calls from the United States and other Western governments that he pardon or commute the sentences of three Al-Jazeera journalists who were handed heavy prison terms a day earlier in a court ruling that raised international outrage.

El-Sissi’s tough stance reflected an image the former army chief has sought to project to the Egyptian public — one of a strong leader defying foreign pressure on Egypt. Nationalist media bolstered that narrative today, praising the verdicts as a sign of the judiciary standing up to outside interference.

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