Trial adjourned to March 24 for journalists

CAIRO: The court case involving 20 journalists who are facing accusations of belonging to a terrorist organization, also known as the Marriot cell, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood was adjourned to March 24 in order to hear more testimonies.

The Cairo Criminal Court decided Wednesday to delay the trial, which was held at the Institute for Police Trustees, in order to listen to more witnesses from the prosecution.

Wednesday’s court proceedings saw witnesses take to the stand and evidence laid out, while the defendants were kept inside of a metal cage in the courtroom.

Four of the journalists on trial are foreigners, and 16 are Egyptian. Australian journalist Peter Greste is the only foreign journalist being held in custody, while the other three — two Britons and one Dutch journalist — are being tried in absentia.

The 20 defendants are accused of belonging to an organization that aims to disrupt the rule of law, airing false information, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The trial has received much condemnation from abroad and is seen as an attack on press freedom. International organizations, including Reporters without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists, have called on the European Union and United States to demand Egypt release the journalists being held in custody as their detention is against press freedom.

Additional reporting by Nermine Soliman.

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