Ahmed Abu Deraa has been detained since September 4
According to local reports, Egyptian journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa’s military trial has been adjourned until Wednesday.
An Egyptian journalist on Sunday appeared before a military court, accused of spreading lies about the army’s campaign against militants in the Sinai Peninsula.
The court in the Suez canal city of Ismailiya adjourned Ahmed Abu Deraa’s hearing to September 18.
Abu Deraa, who writes for the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, was detained on September 4 in north Sinai over published reports that army raids had hit a mosque and houses and also injured civilians.
Authorities say they are targeting “terrorists” in the peninsula that borders the Palestinian Islamist-run Gaza Strip.
DCMF condemns Abu Deraa’s detention
Media watchdogs and rights activists have condemned his detention.
Doha Centre for Media Freedom has written an open letter to the Egyptian authorities expressing concern over the arrest of Abu Deraa.
In the letter, the centre “demands the immediate and unconditional release of Ahmed Abu Deraa” stating that “journalists should be allowed to work freely without fearing persecution.”
“Arresting journalists without charge is unacceptable at any time, especially during times of political instability and uncertainty, when members of the media must be allowed to carry out their work free from facing detention by the authorities.”
The document has also been sent directly to the offices of the Egyptian Minister of Information, Doria Sharah Al-Din and the Minister of Defence and Military Production, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
But military spokesman Ahmed Ali justified the journalist’s detention and military trial.
“Investigations showed that Mr Abu Deraa spread lies, saying that the Egyptian armed forces were attacking mosques, women and children. He deliberately spread false news,” Ali told reporters.
“He also entered military zones.”
Ali said the charges against Abu Deraa came under the jurisdiction of the military, and therefore required a military trial.
Several civil society groups have slammed the increasing number of military trials of civilians since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on July 3.
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