press freedom activists defend egyptian journalist on trial
Last Updated : GMT 09:42:23
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New constitutional law bans ‘prejudice’ against military

Press freedom activists defend Egyptian journalist on trial

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Arab Today, arab today Press freedom activists defend Egyptian journalist on trial

Protesters have condemned President Morsi's new Article 189 law
Ismailia – Yosry Mohamed

Protesters have condemned President Morsi\'s new Article 189 law Ismailia – Yosry Mohamed Egyptian protesters held a solidarity demonstration at Second Field Army headquarters in Ismalia on Wednesday, following the detainment of journalist Mohamed Sabry, accused of photographing military sites at the Rafah border crossing on January 4.
A number of human rights groups and “No to Military Trials” activists from Ismailia and north and eastern Sinai participated in the protest, demanding the immediate release of Sabry.
Border guards arrested the journalist, who was filing a report for international news agency Reuters on the decision to ban private land ownership in the border region, while he was photographing guard posts.
The agency  journalist, who also blogs independently at \"4Sinai,\" is being prosecuted under Article 189 of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s new constitution, stipulating: “A civilian may not appear before military courts unless for crimes that prejudice the military forces.”
Egyptian civil rights groups have reported that Sabry began his trial without a legal representative present while family members were not allowed to see him. “The undersigned strongly condemn the arrest of photojournalist Mohamed Sabry and his referral to an expedited military trial after he was detained while preparing a story for Reuters in the Rafah area in northern Sinai,” the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information [ANHRA] said in a press release on its website.
Sabry’s lawyer, Mohamed Hanafi, announced that the protest was in solidarity with the imprisoned journalist. His client did not know the area was a military zone because “no signs” referred to it being “a restricted military zone,” Hanafi claimed.
If convicted, the 4Sinai journalist could be sentenced for up to one year in prison or forced to pay a 500 EGP fine.

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