London demo for Al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt

LONDON (AFP) - Around 50 demonstrators gathered outside the Egyptian embassy in London on Wednesday, to call for Al-Jazeera journalists due to stand trial in Cairo to be freed.

The 16 Egyptians and four foreigners are due to appear in court on Thursday, accused of backing Egypt's blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

Demonstrators in London held placards and taped over their mouths during the protest staged by the National Union of Journalists.

Among those detained is former BBC journalist Peter Greste.

Ms Sue Turton, a former presenter for Britain's Channel 4 television who now works for Al-Jazeera, described Mr Greste as a "measured and balanced journalist" and called on the judges to do the right thing and release them after 53 days of detention.

She said: "We are trying to show the Egyptian government we are all watching and we're all journalists concerned with releasing our guys and press freedom for all journalists, foreign and domestic."

More than 38,000 people have signed a petition started by Mr Greste's parents, and the global campaign movement Avaaz.

The petition will be handed in to the Egyptian government before the trial begins. If found guilty, Mr Greste could face seven years in prison.

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