Al Jazeera Journalists' Court Hearing To Begin February 20th

A court date has been set for the trial of the Al Jazeera journalists facing charges in Egypt.

The journalists will head to Cairo Criminal Court on February 20th in what is being called the “Marriott Cell,", Egypt's state news agency (MENA) said Monday.

The verdict will decide the fate of Al Jazeera's Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed who have been detained in Egypt for more than a month over alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Eight of the 20 journalists are still detained in Egypt while the 12 others have left the country, Mada Masr reported.

The defendants, which include 16 Egyptians and 4 foreign reporters, are being charged with "airing false news" and collaborating with a "terrorist organization." Al Jazeera demanded the "immediate and unconditional release" of the journalists in December, but an Egyptian judiciary official said in January that they would continue to be held pending further investigation. A report released earlier on Monday said Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed could spend up to two years in Egyptian prison before the court date was determined.

A campaign began in February protesting the journalists' imprisonment and has gained speed in recent weeks as journalists worldwide and the United Nations have spoken out for press freedom.

(h/t: Mada Masr)

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