@Alaa heads to Tahrir straight from prison

Ahram Online, Sunday 25 Dec 2011

Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah who had been detained by SCAF for weeks heads to Tahrir Square directly after his release

Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah went to the iconic Tahrir Square shortly after his release on Sunday.

Immediately after reuniting with his family, including his son Khaled who was born while he was detained, Abd El-Fattah decided to head directly to Tahrir to pay a visit to the revolution’s landmark.

Abd El-Fattah was arrested by the military on charges of inciting clashes between Coptic Christians protesters and the Egyptian army during clashes that took place on 9 October at the state TV building in Maspero leaving 26 dead and over 300 injured

In a prolonged judicial process, Abd El-Fattah, a renowned blogger and activist, initially refused to be interrogated by the military prosecution on the grounds that the army did not have the authority to investigate civilians.

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), under prolonged pressure from protesters and activists, eventually referred the Maspero case in November to the High State Security Prosecution, which is an exceptional prosecution body that functions under emergency law and does not accept appeals from defendants.

The events at Maspero in October were one of the bloodiest episodes since the army assumed power following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February.

Video footage of the clashes, which became referred to as "Bloody Sunday", showed military Armoured Personnel Carriers running over several protesters, and ignited local and international cries of condemnation of Egypt's army rulers.

The #FreeAlaa hashtag went viral on micro-blogging website Twitter and became a symbol of opposition among thousands of Egyptians to military trial of civilians in Egypt.

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