Egypt's retrial of Al Jazeera journalists to begin

2015-02-23 11:27

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - The retrial of two Al Jazeera English journalists who face terror-related charges in a case widely criticised by human rights organisations and media groups is set to begin on Monday in Egypt.

Both bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed have been free on bail since earlier this month awaiting trial, though they've had to check in with police each day.

The two, arrested in December 2013, face charges accusing them of being part of a terrorist group and airing falsified footage intended to damage Egyptian national security. Satellite news network Al Jazeera is based in Qatar, which was the main backer of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, of which toppled Islamist president Mohammed Morsi belonged.

Since Morsi's ouster, Egypt has been cracking down heavily on his supporters, and the journalists were accused of being mouthpieces for the Brotherhood. Al Jazeera and the journalists have denied the allegations, saying they were simply reporting the news.

New law

Another colleague arrested with them, Australian Peter Greste, was deported to Australia on 1 February under a new law allowing foreigners accused of crimes to be deported. Fahmy, a dual Egyptian-Canadian national, dropped his Egyptian citizenship after Egyptian security officials who told him it was the only way he would benefit from the new law.

Egypt's Court of Cassation, the country's highest appeals court, ordering the retrial, saying the initial proceedings were marred by violations of the defendants' rights. Fahmy received a seven-year prison sentence, while Mohammed received a 10-year sentence.

Eleven other defendants in the case — mostly students accused of being Brotherhood members — previously were ordered released without bail.

Since being released on bail, Fahmy, 40, has criticised Al Jazeera, saying its "epic negligence has made our situation harder, more difficult, and gave our captor more firepower". Mohammed, 31, previously said he was "optimistic" about his retrial, though he "decided not to any expectations".

There are at least nine other journalists in detention in Egypt. The Committee to Protect Journalists listed Egypt in 2014 as one of the 10 worst jailers of journalists around the world, along with China, Iran, Turkey and Ethiopia.

Read more on:    al jazeera  |  mohammed morsi  |  abdel fattah al-sisi  |  egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.