Prominent Egyptian blogger in military detention

Al-Masry Al-Youm reports: Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prominent blogger and activist, will be held for 15 days of military interrogation, his lawyer said on Sunday. Meanwhile, Bahaa Saber, another activist and blogger, has been released but is still under investigation.

Abd El Fattah was called into the military prosecution office for questioning regarding his involvement in the clashes between mostly Coptic protesters and the military on 9 October in which 28 people were killed. Abd El Fattah is accused of assaulting military personnel, stealing machine guns that belong to the armed forces, and inciting violence against the military, his lawyer, Ahmed Saif al-Islam said.

Saber was released from detention because the military prosecutors believe he will not attempt to flee. Saber faces charges of inciting violence against the military and assaulting military personnel, but is not accused of stealing weapons, his lawyer, Ramy Ghanem, said. He may still face a military trial.

According to Saif al-Islam, a prominent human rights lawyer who is also Abd El Fattah’s father, his client refused to answer the military’s questions. Saif al-Islam believes Abd El Fattah is being punished for not cooperating.

Abd El Fattah would not cooperate because he believes the military is implicated in the crime of which he is accused, his lawyer said, adding that he believes the military hopes to send a message to other protesters that they should not opt to be uncooperative.

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