Cairo Judge Orders Two Al Jazeera Journalists Freed On Bail

CAIRO (Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

A Cairo judge Thursday ordered the release on bail of two journalists for Al Jazeera English at the start of their retrial on terrorism-related charges.

Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have spent more than 13 months in jail. Their Australian colleague, Peter Greste, was released and deported last week.

The case has been closely watched by human rights groups and media advocacy organizations. The arrest of the three journalists came amid a wide-ranging crackdown on opponents of the Egyptian government, and their supporters said the charges were politically motivated and an attack on media freedom.

In a statement, Al Jazeera welcomed Thursday’s move as “a small step in the right direction,” but repeated its call for the case to be dismissed.