CAIRO — A private Egyptian TV channel has aired video of the arrest in late December of two Al-Jazeera journalists at a Nile-side Cairo hotel.
The nearly 22-minute clip, likely made with a mobile phone, was broadcast late Sunday on Al-Tahrir television.
The footage shows Al-Jazeera’s acting Cairo bureau chief, Mohammed Fahmy, a Canadian-Egyptian, and Australian correspondent Peter Greste being asked questions at a hotel suite used as an office by the Qatari-based network.
The final shot shows the two being led into a van outside the hotel. A third Al-Jazeera employee known to have been arrested with them does not appear in the video.
The three are among 20 Al-Jazeera journalists facing trial for joining or aiding a terrorist group. No date has been set for the trial.
The charges are based on the government’s declaration last month of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Authorities have long depicted the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network as biased toward Morsi and the Brotherhood. But so far its crackdown on the network had mostly targeted its Arabic service and its Egyptian affiliate.
Al-Jazeera says the charges against its crew are “silly and not based on any reality.”
International rights groups have condemned the Egyptian authorities for referring the crew to trial.
Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty said the decision to prosecute the journalists “sends the chilling message that only one narrative is acceptable in Egypt today — that which is sanctioned by the Egyptian authorities.”
Since Morsi’s ouster, his supporters have staged near-daily protests calling for his reinstatement. Their rallies have often sparked deadly street clashes with security forces and civilian opponents.
Egypt’s military-installed government, whose ties with Qatar have strained since Morsi’s ouster, has been incensed by Al-Jazeera’s coverage of its deadly crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood to which the deposed Islamist belongs.
An Egyptian court on Sunday acquitted a cameraman working for Al-Jazeera television and 61 others accused of taking part in clashes in Cairo, judicial sources said.