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Sunday, 26 May 2019

Egypt court denies bail for 20 Al-Jazeera journalists

Trial once again adjourned, this time to 31 March, as bail request denied for 20 Al-Jazeera journalists detained on terrorism charges

Ahram Online , Monday 24 Mar 2014
Jazeera Trial
Heavy journalists presence outside the court in the trial of Jazeera journalists (Photo: Ahram)
Views: 2544
Views: 2544

The trial of 20 Al-Jazeera journalists accused of aiding or joining the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood was adjourned for a third time on Monday, with the defendants' request for bail denied by the court.

The trial will resume on 31 March.

Monday's session saw the prosecution accusing the defendants of possessing "devices" without a permit.

However, the prosecuting lawyer was interrupted by Mohamed Fahmy, one of the defendants, who said that there was only one device in question and that it had been also owned by several private Egyptian TV channels, including CBC and ONTV.

The defense lawyer further affirmed to the judge that Al-Jazeera English, the employer of four of the defendants, was licensed to work in Egypt.

Meanwhile, the defendants requested to be transferred from Al-Aqrab prison, where they claim they have been subjected to torture and assault at the hands of security officers, in addition to ill treatment and the absence of medical care.

“The Muslim Brotherhood and [former president Hosni] Mubarak are being treated better in their trials than us,” said Fahmy, a former producer for CNN.

The British newspaper The Guardian reported this week that Fahmy has been denied medical treatment for a shoulder injury he suffered before his arrest in December and has since lost the use of his arm.

Defendant Soheib Saad also complained that he has not been allowed visits from his family.

The journalists' case has stirred a chorus of international condemnation over the stifling of media freedom in Egypt.

The defendants include award-winning Australian reporter Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed – all of whom worked for Al-Jazeera English.

The Australian Consul in Egypt has been following the trial to monitor its proceedings, reported Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

The journalists have been in custody since late December, when they were arrested at a Cairo hotel over an alleged illegal broadcast.

Only eight of the defendants are in custody, with the rest being tried in absentia.

Al-Jazeera has dismissed the charges against its staff as "absurd" and "baseless" and has continued to call for their release.

The Doha-based media network – now banned from working in Egypt – says only nine of its journalists are among the defendants.

Security forces shut down Al-Jazeera’s Cairo offices following the army's overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. The authorities accused the network's Egyptian channel of giving favourable coverage to Morsi's Brotherhood movement.

Al-Jazeera Arabic's Abdullah El-Shamy has been detained without charge since 14 August, and has been on hunger strike since late January, the media network said.

Australian reporter Greste is the only foreign defendant in detention. Two Britons, Sue Turton and Dominic Kane, and Dutch journalist Rena Netjes, who fled the country after being indicted despite not working for the channel, are currently abroad and are being tried in absentia.

Last week, Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour sent a letter to Greste's parents, pledging a speedy resolution of the journalist's trial, a move that the network called an "encouraging sign."

The last hearing of the case was held early in March.


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26-03-2014 02:40am
Al Jazeera enjoyed glorifying terrorists
All the families of the Muslim brotherhood terrorists victims are enjoying your stiff prison terms... Everything has a price Mr. Greste
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25-03-2014 12:23pm
Journalists are not above the law. Continuous claims about stifling freedom of the press should not scare or dissuade the justice system from investigating any journalist. If he's innocent, there will be no evidence against him and he will be let go. What we're seeing right now is the justice system looking into the case and Al-Jazeera and western media condemning Egypt for doing that. In my opinion that shows blind support by Qater and the west to keep hidden the real agenda of giving political and media cover to the MB to continue their rampage in hopes of regaining some clout in the political system as return on their investment in the MB and the other terrorist organizations taking Islam as a front. We will not be pressured into submission. That era is gone.
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Paul Khalid, Egypt
25-03-2014 02:46am
Good Verict
Qatar will post the bail and smuggle its spies out of Egypt. LOL
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simple citizen
24-03-2014 05:24pm
Al Jazira journalists
Journalists like all normal citizens of this world are certainly not above any laws as they so wish and then get away with it by claiming FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. Its too easy.
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25-03-2014 08:19am
SO what are their crimes? That justify them being locked up (I am talking all Journalist) for reporting the news. This is the biggest stupid problem in this reason, no one is the region can't deal with criticism at all at what happen in their country good or bad. Until freedom of speech and freedom of press happen, nothing will change for this region no matter how or who is in charge. They will only want what the governments want you you to know.

24-03-2014 03:36pm
Comments from Peter Greste at a court break!
And so we wait another week. Hang in there Peter and co. Thinking of you all lots. Quote from Peter to media in the break: "We are gratified by the collapse of the prosecution's case. We have not seen a single shred of evidence – we have spent three months in prison based on unsubstantiated allegations and conjecture by people who do not understand what [journalists] do."
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