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Dutch journalist flees Egypt after authorities accuse her of terrorism

CAIRO, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A Dutch al-Jazeera journalist has fled Egypt after she and 19 others were referred to a criminal court for terrorism-related charges.

Freelance journalist Rene Netjes, a correspondent for a private radio station, has denied working for al-Jazeera and said she only conducted an interview with one of the network's specialists on radical groups.

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She is now on her way to Amsterdam, Ahram Online reported.

"It is tremendously scary that you suddenly have all sorts of false accusations against you...so you can be locked in a notorious prison for years," Netjes said.

The 16 Egyptians are charged with belonging to a terrorist organization, harming unity and social peace and using terrorism as a means for their goals.

The four foreigners, including Australian award-winning journalist Peter Greste, two Britons and Netjes, are accused of collaborating with the Egyptian suspects, and giving them information, equipment and money.

The foreigners are also accused of broadcasting false information to convince Egyptians the country was in the midst of a civil war.

Egypt referred the 20 journalists — four foreigners and 16 Egyptians — to trial last week for allegedly joining and aiding a terrorist group and endangering national security.

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The al-Jazeera office in Cairo has been shut down since July, when security forces raided it following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

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