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Long-held Al Jazeera journalists ordered freed pending retrial

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By Ian Lee, Sarah Sirgany and Jason Hanna, CNN

Cairo (CNN)Two Al Jazeera journalists who'd been imprisoned in Egypt for more than a year were granted bail Thursday, with a court telling them they can await retrial away from jail in a case that has outraged journalists and activists around the globe.

An Egyptian court Thursday ordered journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed freed ahead of their retrial on charges that they supported the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the men were still in custody Thursday night, and with government offices closed on Fridays for weekly prayers, their release might not come until Saturday.

News of their pending release comes less than two weeks after Al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste, a colleague who was convicted with them, was released and deported to his native Australia.

Bail for Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian citizen and former CNN producer, was set at 250,000 Egyptian pounds ($32,750). Mohamed, an Egyptian citizen, is not required to pay but is barred from leaving the country ahead of the retrial.

Fahmy's family paid the bail Thursday. The case is scheduled to resume on February 23.

Fahmy, who says he recently surrendered his Egyptian citizenship under coercion to facilitate his ultimate release, addressed the court Thursday, reasserting his innocence and brandishing an Egyptian flag.

Al Jazeera applauded the two journalists' bail but called for their full exoneration.


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Guest Wednesday, 23 September 2020