Reporters without Borders demands release of Egyptian journalist

Ahram Online, Saturday 7 Sep 2013

Reporters without Borders condemns detention of Egyptian journalist Ahmed Abu Draa', referred to military prosecution on charges including 'broadcasting false information about the army'

Ahmed Adu Draa (Photo: Facebook page)

Reporters without Borders has demanded the "immediate and unconditional release" of Egyptian journalist Ahmed Abu Draa', who was arrested on Wednesday.

The award-winning journalist - based in the restive Sinai border Peninsula and reporter for Egypt's private daily Al-Masry Al-Youm and OnTV satellite channel - was referred to military prosecution on Thursday. Abu Draa' was given 15 days in detention, pending investigation on charges of broadcasting false information about the military, communicating with "terrorist groups" in Sinai, filming military property and provoking the armed forces.

"His arrest came the day after Al-Masry Al-Youm published articles that expose violations committed by the armed forces against civilians in Sinai, including the shelling of the village of Al-Moqata'a, in which four civilians were injured," said the statement by Reporters without Borders released Friday.

The Egyptian journalists syndicate expressed "concern" regarding the arrest of Abu Draa', demanding he be tried by civilian prosecution and asserting that journalists should not be arrested for performing their work.

Last week, Reporters without Borders decried the attacks on journalists in Egypt in the wave of violence that followed the 3 July ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

"Since 3 July, a total of five journalists have been killed, 80 journalists have been arbitrarily detained (with seven still being held) and at least 40 news providers have been physically attacked by the police or by pro-Morsi or pro-army demonstrators," said a previous statement released 2 September.

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