Journalist Mohamed Sabry out on bail

Ahram Online , Wednesday 9 Jan 2013

Sabry, facing a military trial for filming military areas, has been released on bail

Ismailia Military Court has let journalist Mohamed Sabry go on bail Wednesday and adjourned his case, where he is accused of filming military areas in Sinai, to 15 January.

Sabry was detained Friday by Egyptian border guards in Al-Masoura area, close to the Rafah border, where he was filming military points and guarding towers.

Sabry said that he was present in the military area for a journalistic report on Defence Minister Abd El-Fatah El-Sisi's "ownership prohibition" decision that forbids the owning of any land or property of "strategic locations of military importance" in Sinai.

He denied all accusations that he was working against national security. After hearing the defendant, the court decided to let him out on bail.

In parallel developments, several activists staged a protest in front of the Second Field Army headquarters in Ismailia during Sabry's court session to condemn that he is being tried in a military court.

Amongst those who participated in the protest was the "No to Military Trails" groups, of which Sabry is a member.

Sabry's case has attracted wide attention, especially after the approval of Egypt's new constitution, which gives room for trying civilians in military courts.

Article 198 of the constitution states that "civilians shall not stand trial before military courts except for crimes that harm the Armed Forces. The law shall define such crimes and determine the other competencies of the Military Judiciary."

Amnesty International condemned Tuesday the detention of Sabry and called for his release.

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