For the first time in Egypt, a blogger is to be sent to a military court because of his writing online. Ahmad Mostafa (student) wrote on his blog Maza Asabak ya Watan (What Weent Wrong With You oh My country?!) about a student from the War School, who was expelled and his dad asked to sign a statement saying: “my son was not able to adapt to the military life“.
According to Mostafa's blog post, which only quoted members of the expelled student's family, a rich man who wanted to have his son join the school but couldn't find a place for him, maneuvered for this place and then succeeded to replace his son with the expelled Mostafa.
The young blogger wrote about the incident a year ago on under the title: ‘The School War's Scandel“. But a month ago he received an alert from the security regarding that post, right before a visit paid by the president Hosni Mubarak's to Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, where Mostafa lives and studies. On 25th February he was arrested, while was in his way to the university.
The Association of Freedom of Thinking and Expression condemned the arrest and listed the accusation of Mostafa, which brought him to a military court:
He was transferred to the military attorney who decided to keep him in custody for 4 days in order to resume the investigation, and to send him to the military court in Cairo on February 28th, 2010, as he is accused of:
- defaming the Egyptian armed forces.
- shaking the trust of people on the armed forces.
- publishing false news.
The Egyptian blogosphere was abuzz by the news, especially that the young blogger didn't write a word about “the Egyptian armed forces“, Zeinobia blogged:
I respect the army very much and I think that this incident is very dangerous especially that from I understand from Mohamed Adel's post about the matter the military intelligence is involved in the matter. From a legal point of view Mustafa should not be prosecuted in front of a military court. From a logic point of view he should not be prosecuted at all because he did not breach any military secrets
Reading again his blog post, the Egyptian blogger Cocy found a comment, published on January 26th by a reader called ‘Tamer’, threatening Mostafa for the aforementioned post.
Twitter was the news exchange tool for the arrested blogger, Mohamed Adel tweeted the news, and has been updating the tweeps on him.
Update- The military trial adjourned the case to March 7 (next Sunday) to allow defense team to examine the case documents.
Update- Today the Military Court concluded the case, and Ahmad Mostafa will be released shortly.