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Egypt: Plight of Bloggers Continues at Military Courts

Egypt: Plight of Bloggers Continues at Military Courts
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Supporters wrote Freedom for Alaa Abd El Fattah on the ground outside the Military Prosecution building in Cairo. Photo by Nazly Hussein, posted on Twitter

by Amira Al Hussaini

A military court today decided to jail blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah for another 15 days, 15 days after first detaining him, pending investigations on what defenders say are trumped up charges. Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad’s trial was also once again postponed until November 27.

Abd El Fattah was detained on October 30, after refusing to be interrogated by the Military Prosecution, in protest against its legitimacy. His arrest, and the international outcry it has caused, is shedding light on the plight of more than 12,000 civilians, including Sanad, who have been put on military trials in Egypt since the the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took power. Abd El Fattah is accused of inciting violence against the military, stealing a weapon and destroying military equipment during the October 9 Maspero massacre, in which 25 Egyptians, mostly Copts, were killed in clashes between the military poilce and protesters demanding answers for the burning of churches in Sohag and Aswan.

Three year sentence for a blog post

Abd El Fattah’s trial coincided with Sanad’s – Egypt’s first blogger to be arrested and charged by a military court after the revolution which ousted Hosni Mubarak as president. Sanad was sentenced to three years in prison, for writing a post on his blog, which the military said was insulting.The charges against Sanad are insulting the armed forces, publishing false information on his blog and disturbing public security. Last month, the Supreme Military Court of Appeals annulled the conviction but continued to hold Sanad, who had started a hunger strike, transferring him to a mental health facility.

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Photo by Nazly Hussein, posted on Twitter

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8:18PM PDT on Apr 7, 2012


2:13AM PST on Nov 21, 2011


12:31PM PST on Nov 15, 2011

The current lack of freedom of speech is nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with an ostensibly transitionally ruling military council, which is using the powers of the reactivated 30-year old State of Emergency and trying activists and other civilians in military courts and remaining unaccountable. Extremists have not taken over the country, although it's possible that an Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, will win a majority of the parliamentary seats in the forthcoming elections if they are not rigged. Isn't that what democracy is all about ? You don't necessarily end up with your choice of government!.

10:43AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Too bad, I was hoping we'd see better from the Egyptians.

6:28AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

The road to democracy isn't paved. We seem to forget that one as we've enjoyed these freedoms to long. I believe Egypt will get there - no doubt it will take more time than idealists would like (myself included) but once you've tasted what the people can do - hold on Hanna!

6:15AM PST on Nov 15, 2011


2:52AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Anyone with common sense and knowledge about Islam knew beforehand there would never be a "democracy", the extremists takeover these countries and they'll end up with worse dictators. I hope I'm wrong, we'll see.

7:43PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

It's just not going to happen.

7:08PM PST on Nov 14, 2011


6:16PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Freedom of speech is NEVER allowed in Islamic countries---and the Muslim Brotherhood can't be expected to allow it in Egypt.

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