Retrial of Al Jazeera journalists postponed to March 8

Retrial of Al Jazeera journalists postponed to March 8

[JURIST] The retrial of two Al Jazeera journalists accused of links to the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder, JURIST news archive] has been postponed to March 8 after a brief hearing in Cairo, Egypt, on Monday. The retrial, which was set to commence Monday, has been adjourned [Al Jazeera report] for two weeks due to lack of eyewitnesses. Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy were released on bail on February 13 after the Egyptian Court of Cassation [official website, in Arabic] overturned [JURIST report] a lower court ruling that found the two journalists guilty of [AP report] aiding a terrorist group and airing falsified footage intended to damage Egyptian national security.

The prosecution and subsequent imprisonment of Al Jazeera journalists by the Egyptian government has garnered widespread criticism from international governments and rights groups. Earlier this month UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] welcomed [JURIST report] the decision by Egyptian authorities to release on bail the two Al Jazeera journalists awaiting retrial on terror charges.The men were arrested [JURIST report] in December 2013 along with fellow Al Jazeera journalist and Australian national Peter Greste. Earlier this month Greste was released [JURIST report] from the Cairo detention facility and deported, under a law allowing the deportation of foreign nationals to their home countries. Greste, along with rights organizations [AI report], and Canada’s Minister of State, Lynne Yelich, continue to push for the immediate and unconditional release of Fahmy and Mohamed.