Prosecutors in Cairo Wednesday said they were charging 20 Al-Jazeera journalists for portraying Egypt in a state of civil war.
The foreigners were accused of "airing false news aimed at informing the outside world that the country was witnessing a civil war", among other charges.
As part of a crackdown on Islamists, 20 Al-Jazeera staff -- including award-winning Australian journalist Peter Greste, two Britons and a Dutch woman -- were referred to trial on Wednesday.
The authorities have been incensed by the network's coverage of their campaign against the Islamists and have accused the Qatari channel of ties to the Brotherhood.
At least 1,400 people, mostly Morsi supporters, have been killed in a relentless crackdown on Islamists, according to Amnesty International, while scores of policemen and soldiers have fallen to militant attacks.
The remaining 16 -- all Egyptians -- were charged with belonging to a "terrorist" group.
Al-Jazeera said "these are silly charges and not based on any reality. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also condemned the referral.