Twenty journalists, including four foreigners, are to go on trial in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
They face charges including aiding a terrorist organisation – as the Muslim Brotherhood was designated in December – and endangering national security.
Eight defendants are in custody, among them al-Jazeera’s Egyptian-Canadian bureau chief Mohamed Adel Fahmy and Australian correspondent Peter Greste.
The 16 Egyptians going on trial inside the Tora prison complex in Cairo on Thursday have been charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation and “harming national unity and social peace”.
The foreigners are accused of “collaborating with the Egyptians by providing them with money, equipment, information”, and “airing false news aimed at informing the outside world that the country was witnessing a civil war” – an apparent reference to the unrest that has left more than 1,000 people dead in the past seven months, mostly Morsi supporters.