CAIRO: The Dutch consul in Egypt, along with Egyptian and foreign media and a number of foreign human rights delegations, arrived a short while ago on Wednesday to the Cairo Criminal Court held at the Police Institute for the second trial session of the 20 defendants accused in the case known in the media as the Marriott cell, Youm7 reported.
The defendants include four journalists from Al-Jazeera and Al-Jazeera English Channel: Peter Greste, cameraman Mohamed Fawzand, and producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who are accused of not having permit to operate in Egypt and transmitting false information about Egypt through the Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera to that threatened national security
Investigations also alleged that defendants assisted the Muslim Brotherhood in influencing foreign public opinion about the post-June 30 interim government, and the general prosecution has levied a host of charges against them under the umbrella crime of “joining a terrorist group,” including preventing state institutions from practicing its work, and harming national unity and social peace.
Soayeb Mohamed, one of the suspects, stated he was arrested in his apartment and has been denied visits and subject to torture by National Security Agency officers.
At the first session on Feb. 20, a number of foreign representatives were present at the session, including the General Consulates of the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, the U.S., and a delegation from the European Union, along with some of the suspects’ family members.
The day before, numerous international media outlets, including BBC News, ITN, Sky, Reuters, NBC News and ABC News, “wrote an open letter to the Egyptian authorities protesting against the continued imprisonment of a number of journalists in Cairo,” the Sunday Post reported.