The New Zealand government and Parliament on Tuesday called on the Egyptian government to quash the prison sentences imposed on three Al Jazeera journalists after they were convicted of aiding a terrorist organization by reporting lies.
"Press freedom and transparent judicial processes are fundamental to any democracy," New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said in a statement.
"I have seen nothing to suggest that these three journalists were doing anything other than their job and the seven-year prison sentences imposed appear to be aimed at silencing critics rather than serving justice," he said.
"The Egyptian authorities need to understand that the international community is watching closely and will not accept the current verdicts."
McCully said the Egyptian authorities should review the case as a matter of urgency.
Members of the New Zealand Parliament on Tuesday unanimously passed a motion in support of the three journalists, calling for their immediate release.