Facebook Blogger Faces Court Martial In Egypt

Earlier last week, one dissident blogger was freed by the Egyptian authorities after spending four years in prison. But this other netizen hasn’t been as “lucky.”

Reporters Without Borders claims that blogger Ahmed Hassan Basiouny faced trial by court martial (military court) on Saturday, November 20th. Their press release from Nov. 19th hasn’t been updated yet. We don’t know how the trial is going, or if it has already concluded.

Ahmed Hassan Basiouny created a Facebook page in 2009 offering advice to young Egyptians who were planning on enlisting in the Egyptian army. According to Egyptian authorities, disclosing information about the armed forces constitutes a criminal offense. No details have been released about how critical Basiouny was of the Egyptian military forces, if at all. It’s interesting to note that Basiouny also appeared on a TV show called “Youth Panorama” on a state-owned network. In that interview he talked about his Facebook page, and the interviewer called him “a good model for Egyptian youth.” He was summoned by the Egyptian authorities a few days later.

If you have any additional information on Basiouny’s luck, please write it in a comment below or send us an email at tips@allfacebook.com.

Basiouny is not the first blogger to face court martial in Egypt, however. On March 1st, 2010, a young student called Ahmed Abdel Fattah Mustafa also faced trial by military court after publishing an unfavorable article about the military in his personal blog. His trial was then adjourned until further notice. But with the release of blogger Kareem Amer last week, it looked like the Egyptian authorities were set on relaxing their rigid relationship with the Internet and freedom of speech. Kareem Amer was released last week after being held in jail since 2006 for criticizing religious authoritarianism and gender discrimination.

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