independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Al-Jazeera journalists face trial

Demonstrators hold pictures of Al Jazeera Arabic network journalist Abdullah Al Shami, one of those held in Egyptian custody (AP)

Twenty journalists from the Al-Jazeera TV network have been sent for trial in Egypt on charges of joining or assisting a terrorist group and spreading false news endangering national security.

The country's chief prosecutor's office said 16 Egyptians in the case are accused of joining a terrorist group, while four foreigners - an Australian, a Dutch citizen, and two Britons - are accused of helping to promote false news benefiting the terrorist group.

It is the first instance of terror-related charges against journalists and foreigners since the government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December. The statement said eight are currently in detention.

Egypt's government accuses the Qatar-based broadcaster of bias in favour of the Brotherhood. Al-Jazeera denies the charges, demanding its reporters be freed.

Press Association

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