Egyptian Government Targets Al-Jazeera Journalists

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-01_02444db073.jpgfotokon/Thinkstock (CAIRO) -- Showing little tolerance for public dissent, the interim Egyptian government is taking more steps to quash any potential criticism of the regime by putting 20 Al-Jazeera journalists on trial. The government has accused both Egyptian and foreign reporters of "belonging to terrorist organizations violating the law" along with "damaging national unity and social peace" among other charges.

Currently, eight of the journalists are in custody while 12 remain at large. No date has been sent for a trial.

The interim government, which was formed after the ouster last July of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, has focused its efforts on systemically dismantling the Muslim Brotherhood bloc that brought Morsi to power in June 2012.

However, this apparent assault on journalists may signal that the military-backed regime is setting its sights beyond the Brotherhood in order to further consolidate power.

Meanwhile, international journalists’ groups and human rights organizations have condemned Egypt's targeting of the media.

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