Egypt activist group condemns military imprisonment of civilian blogger

Egypt activist group condemns military imprisonment of civilian blogger

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[JURIST] The Egypt activist group No Military Trials for for Civilians [Al Jazeera profile] on Sunday condemned [statement text] the arrest and imprisonment of Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abd el Fattah [blog; Twitter feed] by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder]. The blogger is accused of inciting violence during the Bloody Sunday Maspero protests [Bikya Masr report] last month. At the incident, 27 protesters were killed and about 300 were injured. The activist group says that the SCAF has been using military tribunals for Egyptian citizens since taking power in January:

On questioning, Abd El Fattah declined to answer the prosecutor’s questions, stating that it is illegal and a clear conflict of interest for the military, as a party accused of a crime in the same events, to hold proceedings or adjudicate fairly. He was sent to detention pending further military investigation. As of today we refuse to co-operate with the military prosecution of civilians and we call on all Egyptian citizens to stand with us.

The group demands “that Alaa Abd El Fattah be freed immediately, that military trials of civilians be stopped and all those sentenced thus far be released or, at least, retried before civilian courts.”

Last month, SCAF created an amendment that altered election rules to ban the use of religious slogans [JURIST reports] in campaigning. The article came ahead of the upcoming November elections and is expected to have an immediate effect on the Muslim Brotherhood [party website] whose traditional slogan “Islam is the solution” was banned under the new electoral guidelines. However, two days later an Egyptian court overturned a ban [JURIST report] that prohibited the formation of the Islamic-based political party Al-Gama’a al-Islamiya [party website]. In March, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced that it would lift the state of emergency [JURIST report] before parliamentary polls were to be held. The election announcement came a week after an overwhelming majority of Egyptians voted to approve several constitutional amendments [JURIST report] in a national referendum.