Egyptian journalist to face trial

Sept. 12, 2013 at 6:39 AM
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CAIRO, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- An award-winning Egyptian journalist faces trial before a military court for allegedly publishing false information, a military prosecutor said.

Ahmed Abu Deraa, who works for the Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm, is accused of publishing false statements on military operations in the northern Sinai and entering a restricted military zone to take photographs of the Suez Canal and other areas, the newspaper said Wednesday.

Deraa was arrested last Thursday in the Sinai and detained for 15 days pending an investigation into the charges, Ahram Online said.

Shortly after his detention, the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate released a statement calling on the army to release information concerning the reasons for his arrest, and declared all journalists should be exempt from facing a military trial, Ahram Online said.

Since Deraa's arrest, journalists have held a number of protests in Cairo demanding his release.

The international journalists' watchdog organization Reporters Without Borders issued a statement demanding Deraa's "immediate and unconditional release," saying his arrest occurred a day after he published articles exposing violations allegedly committed by the Egyptian army against civilians in the Sinai, Ahram Online said.

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