Dutch journo could get 15 years in Egypt prison

rena netjes
Twitter profile picture of Rena Netjes (Rena Netjes/Twitter). Twitter profile picture of Rena Netjes (Rena Netjes/Twitter)

Dutch journalist Rena Netjes could be sentenced to between 15 and 25 years in prison if convicted of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Netjes is one of twenty journalists criminally charged in connection with a clampdown on global news television network al-Jazeera.

Netjes fled Egypt in February with the help of the Dutch Embassy in Cairo, who arranged for her safe passage to the Netherlands. Many of the other journalists remained in Egypt and are awaiting trial. Their sentences upon conviction could be equally long.

Netjes works in print, radio and television, producing news for het Parool, BNR, and NOS. She has twice been accused by Egypt of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Though the group’s supporters are said to total over two million, Egypt has classified the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation after a bombing in Mansoura late last year. The government blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the violent act, though another group, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, has tried to take credit for the bombing.

Prosecutors in Egypt claim al-Jazeera has been broadcasting propaganda in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood, a charge the news channel vigorously denies.

If convicted, Netjes could be locked-up should she return to Egypt. The Netherlands does not extradite people to Egypt to face criminal charges.

Britt Slegers contributed to this report.

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