2010-02-28

Egypt: Blogger sent to a Military Court for a post he published a year ago

[Post by Noha Atef - Published at Global Voices Advocacy ]

Update 7 March: The military court halted the case and released Ahmed Mostafa.
Update 2 March:
The military trial adjourned the case to 7th March (next Sunday).

For the first time in Egypt, a blogger is to be sent to a military court because of his writing online. Ahmad Mostafa (student) wrote on his blog Maza Asabak ya Watan (What Weent Wrong With You oh My country?!) about a student from the War School, who was expelled and his dad asked to sign a statement saying: “my son was not able to adapt to the military life“.

According to Mostafa's blog post, who only quoted members of the expelled student's family, a rich man how wanted to have his son join the school but couldn't find a place for him, maneuvered for this place and then succeeded to replace his son with the expelled Mostafa.

The young blogger wrote about the incident a year ago (15 Feb 2009) under the title: ‘The School War's Scandel“. But a month ago he received an alert from the security regarding that post, right before a visit paid by the president Hosni Mubarak's to Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, where Mostafa lives and studies. On 25th February he was arrested, while was in his way to the university.

The Association of Freedom of Thinking and Expression condemned the arrest and listed the accusation of Mostafa, which brought him to a military court:

He was transferred to the military attorney who decided to keep him in custody for 4 days in order to resume the investigation, and to send him to the military court in Cairo on February 28th, 2010, as he is accused of: 1. defaming the Egyptian armed forces. 2. shaking the trust of people on the armed forces. 3. publishing false news.

Reading again his blog post, the Egyptian blogger Cocy found a comment, published on January 26th by a reader called ‘Tamer', threatening Mostafa for the aforementioned post.

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