Egypt rejects U.S. criticism on detained journalists

People are seen in a burnt studio of Al Jazeera TV network, at Tahrir Square in Cairo November 21, 2012. (Reuters)

Egypt’s foreign ministry has rejected U.S. criticism of the top prosecutor’s decision to refer 20 Al-Jazeera journalists to trial, insisting the country’s judiciary is independent.

Thursday’s comments by the ministry’s spokesman, Badr Abdelattie, came a day after Egypt’s top prosecutor sent the 20 journalists to trial. They are charged with aiding or joining a terrorist group and endangering national security. No date has been set for the trial.

The decision prompted State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to say that Washington was “deeply concerned” about the lack of freedoms in Egypt and the country’s “egregious disregard for the protection of basic rights and freedoms.”

Abdelattie says Egypt’s judicial system ensures fair trials and that the government does not interfere in its work.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42