Egypt frees two Jazeera journalists on bail

CAIRO: An Egyptian court ordered the release of two jailed Al Jazeera journalists on Thursday pending retrial, after they spent more than 400 days in prison in a case that sparked worldwide outrage.

Mohamed Fahmy, who is Canadian and whose family hoped he would be deported, must pay 250,000 Egyptian pounds ($33,000) bail.

His colleague, Egyptian Baher Mohamed, was freed without having to pay bail. The two must appear in court again on February 23.

Fahmy and Mohamed entered the packed courtroom in white prison uniforms, after Australian colleague Peter Greste was deported home earlier this month. The three were accused of supporting the blacklisted Brotherhood and originally jailed for between seven and 10 years each.

Greste congratulated his two colleagues after their release was announced. “This is a huge step forward. Not time to declare it over, but at least you get to go home!” the Australian wrote on Twitter.

A message posted on Mohamed’s Twitter feed simply said: “I AM FREE”. Heather Allan, head of newsgathering at Al Jazeera English, said just minutes after the news of their release: “We are very grateful.


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