Al-Jazeera trial in Egypt adjourned to March

CAIRO, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A trial for three al-Jazeera correspondents in Egypt was adjourned until March 5 after they pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges, al-Jazeera said Thursday.

Appearing in white prison clothes, journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohammed entered not guilty pleas Thursday in a Cairo court. They are accused of aiding and abetting terrorist groups and their case was adjourned to March 5.


"Al-Jazeera continues to reject the charges and is demanding the immediate release of its staff," the news organization said Thursday.

Al-Jazeera said the three men are among nine from the Qatari news network facing terrorism charges. In all, 20 foreign correspondents are facing charges.

Last month, more than 50 foreign news correspondents issued a statement protesting the charges against foreign journalists, saying it "cast a cloud" over press freedom in Egypt.

Joe Stork, deputy director of Middle East programs at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement Thursday from Beirut the charges were regrettable.

"Journalists should not have to risk years in an Egyptian prison for doing their job," he said.

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