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article imageBlogger jailed for criticizing Egypt's military government

By Leo Reyes     Apr 17, 2011 in Politics
Egypt's military court has sentenced a blogger to serve three years in jail for criticizing the military that have ruled Egypt since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak.
The military court's decision did not go well with rights groups. The reporters Without Borders condemned the ruling saying the blogger had become "the new government's first prisoner of conscience"and criticized the method used in prosecuting the case.
"The methods used by the Egyptian military do not seem to have evolved since Hosni Mubarak's fall," the group's secretary general Jean-Francois Julliard said.
"They show the degree to which the military still cannot be criticized and are still a taboo subject. A civilian should not be tried by a military court," he said.
"Egypt has begun a process of democratisation and it should now be possible to criticise the armed forces like any other component of the state," Julliard said.
Human Rights watch had called for the dropping of charges against the blogger.
"This trial sets a dangerous precedent at a time when Egypt is trying to transition away from the abuses of the Mubarak era," said HRW's Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson
Maikel Nabila campaigner against conscription, was arrested last March 28 after criticizing the military in his blogs.
His posts and comments on social networking website Facebook were used as evidence against him in the trial, HRW quoted his lawyers as saying, Reuters reports.
This was the first trial of a blogger by a military court since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces assumed control after Mr Mubarak resigned on 11 February, following 18 days of street protests, BBC News reports.
Egypt's current military government had pledged to hand over power to a civilian government which will be constituted following recent election in the country which paved the way for the creation of a constitution-based government that will lead the post-Mubarak regime.
More about Blogger, Egypt, blogger jailed, Military, Press freedom
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