On Sunday Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah, who was originally detained by the military on 31 October, was sentenced to a further 15 days in prison. Sadly, Egypt's current military rulers seem no more tolerant of criticism than the Mubarak regime. By THERESA MALLINSON.
El Fattah is being held in Tora Prison in Cairo, after he refused to answer questions put to him by military prosecutors, stating that the military had no jurisdiction over judicial matters. He stands accused of inciting violence and assaulting military personnel, according to Ahram Online. But it seems it's El Fattah's outspoken stance against the military – he's involved in the “No to Military Trials” campaign – that is the real problem.
It's El Fattah's 30th birthday on Friday, and it seems likely he will spend it behind bars. In his latest blog post, translated by Ahram Online, he stated: “I intended to celebrate with my revolutionary comrades on 18 November in Tahrir Square, and with my family at night, just days before my son Khaled is to be born. So try to celebrate for me at the square, because when I receive the news it will console me and make me happy, if only for a few moments.”
El Fattah is just one of more than 12,000 civilians reportedly tried and detained by the Egyptian military since former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February. The country's current military leaders aren't doing themselves any favours by taking up where Mubarak left off, and there are increasing concerns that they'll be reluctant to hand over power come elections at the end of the month. FAM
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