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20 journalists on trial in Egypt for terror charges

- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2014

Twenty journalists — including four foreigners — are set for trial Thursday in Egypt on charges related to terror, a case that's being watched closely by free press advocates around the world.

Media rights groups say the trial is a pure example of government crackdown on journalists in the country, and say the military and interim ruling politicos are taking revenge of anyone seen as sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Only eight of the journalists set for trial are actually in custody. The others are at-large, hiding from government authorities.

The government is accusing them of joining the Muslim Brotherhood, which has now been declared a terrorist organization, and of illegally broadcasting false reports that disparage the Egyptian authorities, the Los Angeles Times said. Specifically, the government is angry at the journalists' portrayal of the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi months ago.

Nine of the journalists work for Al Jazeera's Arabic and English broadcast outlets. One of those is an Australian; another, an Egyptian who also holds Canadian citizenship. Other journalists from Britain were able to flee the country before similar charges were made against them.

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