Al-Jazeera journalists released pending Egypt retrial

Al-Jazeera journalists released pending Egypt retrial
Jailed Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have been released from jail after more than 400 days, pending their retrial.
2 min read
12 February, 2015
Mohamed Fahmy waved an Egyptian flag in court before his release on bail (Anadolu)
An Egyptian court has ordered the released of jailed al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed on Thursday pending their retrial, after the two spent more than 400 days in prison in a case that has sparked international outrage.

Fahmy, a Canadian who dropped his Egyptian citizenship in the hope of being deported, must pay 250,000 Egyptian pounds ($33,000) bail while Mohamed was freed on his own recognisance along with other defendants.

The case has been adjourned until February 23.

Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was imprisoned along with his colleagues, was deported home earlier this month.

The three were accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation now banned in Egypt. They were originally jailed for between seven and 10 years each, but Egypt's Court of Cassation ordered a retrial in January, saying that the lower court "lacked evidence to support its ruling" in the original verdict.

The case has highlighted the worsening environment for journalists in Egypt, and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has faced criticism abroad for the journalists' detention.

The three journalists of Qatar-based al-Jazeera English were arrested in December 2013, and were charged with spreading false news about Egypt in addition to the Muslim Brotherhood charge.

The initial trial came against the backdrop of strained ties between Egypt and Qatar, which had supported Muhammed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically-elected president, who was deposed in a coup led by Sisi in July 2013.