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Egypt releases prominent blogger pending investigation

Reuters
Dec 26, 2011 at 11:55am IST

Cairo: Egyptian authorities released a prominent blogger detained on charges of inciting violence against the armed forces, a court source said on Sunday, adding that prosecutors were still investigating his case.

Military prosecutors detained Alaa Abd El Fattah in October after deadly clashes broke out between the Army and demonstrators in central Cairo.

The detention has outraged activists who saw it as part of a broader crackdown. Pressure has been growing on Egypt's ruling generals, who replaced deposed President Hosni Mubarak in February and have pledged to hand power to an elected president by July.

Egypt releases prominent blogger

Alaa Abd El Fattah was arrested in October after deadly clashes broke out between the Army and demonstrators.

The blogger had refused to be questioned by military prosecutors over "inciting violence and sabotage" in connection with clashes on October 9, when more than 25 people were killed.

He said the Army had no right to interrogate him and said he would only speak to a civilian official, prompting his detention.

The case was then transferred under pressure from human rights groups to the general prosecution. The ruling bans Abd El Fattah from leaving the country during the probe.

"The most important thing is that Alaa broke the will of the military junta, he refused interrogation by military prosecution and it didn't happen," activist Amr Ezzat said on Twitter after Abdel Fattah's release.

Abd El Fattah would be released pending the investigations into his case, the court source said, without adding details.

The clashes connected to Abd El Fattah's case erupted during a demonstration by Christians and are now commonly known as the "Maspero" events because they took place near the state television headquarters which are known by that name.

Twenty seven others accused of inciting violence in the case were released earlier this month pending trial.

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