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Egypt to try 20 Al-Jazeera journalists

Published on Jan 30, 2014 3:06 AM

CAIRO (AFP) - Egyptian prosecutors Wednesday referred to trial 20 journalists working for Al-Jazeera television, including four foreigners accused of "airing false news."

The Qatar-based news channel, which has incensed Egypt's new military-installed authorities by its coverage of their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, said the charges are baseless and "silly." The 16 Egyptians have been charged with belonging to a "terrorist organisation... and harming national unity and social peace," a prosecution statement said.

And two Britons, an Australian and a Dutch woman have been accused of "collaborating with the Egyptians by providing them with money, equipment, information... and airing false news aimed at informing the outside world that the country was witnessing a civil war." Of the 20, only eight are in detention, while others are being sought, the prosecution said.

The network said only five of its journalists are being held.

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