World Bulletin/News Desk
A local human rights organization on Tuesday called for halting the ongoing military trial of a Sinai-based journalist who faces charges of publishing "inaccurate news" about Egypt's powerful army.
Ahmed Abu Draa, North Sinai correspondent for Arabic-language daily Al-Masry al-Youm, was arrested earlier this month and referred to military prosecutors on charges of publishing "misleading" news about the country's armed forces and snapping photos of military installations without permission.
In a statement, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) demanded the suspension of Abu Draa's "exceptional" trial, calling for his immediate release and demanding all charges against him be dropped.
"It is unacceptable to try such a high-profile case before a military court that doesn't provide the minimum requirements for a fair trial," the Cairo-based rights group asserted, urging authorities to transfer the case to a civilian court.
ANHRI went on to condemn the prosecution of journalists "for doing their jobs."
One day before his arrest, Abu Draa had lashed out on Facebook at what he described as "misleading" announcements by the army and media regarding ongoing military operations in the Sinai Peninsula.
Last week, a number of journalists and rights advocates staged a protest outside the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate in downtown Cairo to condemn Abu Draa's continued detention.
Syndicate officials have also expressed concern over the journalist's arrest.
According to military spokesman Ahmed Ali, however, Abu Draa was neither a journalist nor a member of the journalists' syndicate.Last Mod: 18 Eylül 2013, 09:23