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Reaction after Egyptian court orders retrial of Al Jazeera journalists

Thursday, January 01, 2015 - 01:49

Family and lawyers for three jailed journalists Al Jazeera TV journalists react to news that the men will remain in jail until their retrial for charges that include spreading lies to help a ''terrorist organization''. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Outside an Egyptian courthouse in Cairo... reaction to news that three jailed Al Jazeera TV journalists WON'T be freed on bail while awaiting a new trial. Egypt's highest court has ordered a retrial for all three men, citing procedural flaws in their first trial, their defense lawyers say. The men are Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed. They've been jailed for more than a year, sentenced to 7-10 years for their reporting, but the trial's been condemned by human rights groups and Western governments. At this point, the fiancé of Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy is waiting, she says, for a "miracle". (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIANCEE OF JAILED JOURNALIST MOHAMED FAHMY, MARWA OMARA, SAYING: "I can't even imagine that he will stay for a year in prison. His lawyer Amal Clooney just applied to the Egyptian presidency and Egyptian prosecutor for Mohamed to be deported to Canada and be treated as a Canadian citizen to continue the trial there." The Australian ambassador to Egypt told reporters on Wednesday journalists shouldn't be imprisoned for simply doing their job. But the state insists the three men spread lies in their reporting to help a "terror organization" -- a reference here to the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Fahmy's lawyer says there's just no logic to automatically linking the press to a political group. (SOUNDBTIE) LAWYER FOR DEFENDANT MOHAMED FAHMY, NEGAD ALBOREI, SAYING: "They assumed that if you work for Al Jazeera automatically you are a member of the Muslim Brotherhood which is not true and is illegal." The men's imprisonment is a thorny issue for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He wants to prove his commitment to democratic reform and he COULD pardon the men, but has so far refused, citing the independent judiciary.

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Reaction after Egyptian court orders retrial of Al Jazeera journalists

Thursday, January 01, 2015 - 01:49