Egypt frees al-Jazeera journalists on bail

Reporters released on bail after over 400 days in jail

Two al-Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt on charges of aiding a "terrorist organisation" were freed on bail on 12 February after serving more than 400 days behind bars in Cairo's notorious Tora prison.

The case is still pending against Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed, and their next court hearing has been scheduled for 23 February.

Fahmy, a naturalised Canadian who gave up his Egyptian citizenship, was released on bail of $32,000 while Mohamed was released without bail. Their convictions for spreading false news to help a terrorist group, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, were overturned on appeal in January.

Their release on bail comes ten days after their Australian colleague Peter Greste was freed "unconditionally" under a law allowing the deportation of foreign nationals to their home countries.

The three journalists were working for al-Jazeera English at the time of their arrest in December 2013 and all have consistently denied the charges against them.

The three were among 20 reporters held on terror-related charges in a high-profile case that received international condemnation. Greste and Fahmy were both sentenced to seven years while Mohamed received a ten-year jail term.

Egyptian authorities accuse al-Jazeera of being a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Qatar-backed movement which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi set about eliminating in 2013 when he was Egypt’s army chief.

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