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Egyptian military court postpones trial of Sinai journalist Abu Deraa

Trial of journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa, charged with spreading false news about the armed forces, delayed until 18 September

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Sep 2013
Abou Deraa
Sinai-based reporter Ahmed Abu Deraa (Photo: Ahmed Abu Deraa Facebook page)

Ismailiya military court on Sunday postponed the trial of journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa until 18 September so the defendant's lawyer can study the case, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Abu Deraa is an award-winning journalist who reports from northern Sinai for leading private daily Al-Masry Al-Youm and private satellite channel OnTV.

He was arrested on 5 September and accused of publishing false news and rumours about military operations against militants in North Sinai.

He is also accused of photographing the Suez Canal and other proscribed sites, in addition to trespassing on military land without a permit.

On 6 September, Reporters without Borders (RWB), an international watchdog on press freedoms, demanded Abu Deraa's "immediate and unconditional release."

RWB said Abu Deraa's arrest came the day after Al-Masry Al-Youm published articles exposing "violations" committed by the armed forces against civilians in Sinai, including the reported shelling of Al-Moqataa village, in which four civilians were injured.

The armed forces have launched a large-scale operation against militant groups who have stepped up their attacks against security forces in the northern Sinai Peninsula since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military on the 3 July, following mass protests calling for his departure.

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