Egypt's top prosecutor detains Al Jazeera journalists for 15 days

December 31, 2013 21:22

CAIRO - Egypt's general prosecutor on Tuesday detained several journalists for 15 days for broadcasting graphics on the Qatar-based Al Jazeera channel that damaged the country's reputation.

Al Jazeera's Cairo offices have been closed since July 3 when they were raided by security forces hours after the army ousted the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi from the presidency.

Qatar was a strong financial backer of the Brotherhood's rule and its relationship with Cairo has deteriorated in recent months as it vehemently opposes the army's overthrow of Morsi and the crackdown on his movement that has followed.

Egypt accuses Qatar and Al Jazeera of backing the Brotherhood, which it declared a terrorist organization on Dec. 25 and thousands of whose members it has arrested.

The prosecutor's statement on Tuesday said the journalists belonged to a "media network" that was led by a Brotherhood member but did not say how many were arrested.

Al Jazeera had said on Monday that the Egyptian security forces arrested four journalists from its English language news service in Cairo after the Interior Ministry accused them of broadcasting illegally from a hotel suite.

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