Blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah to be freed
Cairo - An Egyptian court ordered the release on Sunday of a
prominent blogger detained nearly two months ago by the ruling military
for his alleged role in deadly sectarian clashes in October.
Ahmed Seif, Alaa Abdel-Fattah's father, told The
Associated Press his son would remain in custody for several more hours
until the paperwork has been completed. He said his son has been banned
from travel abroad.
Military prosecutors detained Abdel-Fattah on October 30
after he refused to answer questions over his alleged role in the
clashes earlier that month in which at least 27 people, most of them
Christians, were killed.
The blogger was a leader of the 18-day uprising that
ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.
His detention has elicited
international condemnation and presented activists opposed to military
rule with new evidence that the generals who took over from Mubarak were
following the same authoritarian policies adopted by the deposed
Abdel-Fattah, 30, belongs to a family of activists who
used his detention to draw international attention to the plight of
thousands of civilians hauled by the ruling generals before military
At least 12 000 Egyptians have been tried before military courts
since late January.
The military has accused Abdel-Fattah of inciting
Christian protesters to attack soldiers during the October 9 clashes
that turned into the bloodiest violence since Mubarak's fall.
His supporters dismissed the claim, saying the military
was trying to silence a prominent critic and to deflect blame on its
soldiers in the violence.
Abdel-Fattah was Egypt's first blogger activist,
launching a blog years ago organising opposition to Mubarak. He has been
a vocal critic of the generals who took over from Mubarak.