Egypt demands maximum jail term for Jazeera reporters

Egypt demands maximum jail term for Jazeera reporters
Thu Jun 5, 2014 17:15:49

Egyptian prosecutors on Thursday demanded the "maximum" penalty, ranging from 15 to 25 years in jail, for all 20 defendants in the trial of Al-Jazeera journalists accused of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

Australian journalist Peter Greste and two other detained reporters with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera English are among the accused.

Egyptian authorities arrested 20 Al Jazeera journalists, including two Britons, a Dutch national, and an Australian earlier in January.

Officials said the fabricated news aimed to convince the international community that Egypt is witnessing a civil war in an attempt to weaken the country’s standing and threaten its national peace.

The individuals are accused of manipulating video footage “to produce for the [world] abroad an unreal scene that the country is undergoing a civil war that portends the downfall of the state,” the prosecutor general said in a statement.

The journalists are also accused of collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a “terrorist organization” by the interim government in December 2013.

Egypt’s military-backed government accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being behind a deadly bombing in the city of Mansoura. The group, however, has condemned the bomb attack, denying any links to the incident.

Human Rights Watch has denounced Egypt’s interim government for blacklisting the Brotherhood, saying the move “appears to be aimed at expanding the crackdown on peaceful Brotherhood activities and imposing harsh sanctions on its supporters.”


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