Egypt’s prosecutor to place 20 Al-Jazeera journalists on trial

Egypt’s chief prosecutor has formally referred 20 journalists from the Al-Jazeera TV network (see my earlier article) to stand trial, according to an Associated Press report.

They are to face charges of joining or assisting a terrorist group and spreading false news that endangers national security.

The 20 are said to be 16 Egyptians and four foreigners – an Australian (Peter Greste, most likely), a Dutch citizen and two Britons. The Egyptians are accused of joining or assisting a terrorist group, while the foreigners are accused of helping to promote false news benefiting the terrorist group.

The statement said that only eight of the accused are currently in detention. (It is possible that some are not even in the country).

It is said in the AP report to be the first instance of terror-related charges against journalists and foreigners since the government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in December.

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