Egyptian court orders release of prominent blogger — judicial source

Wael Abbas was arrested in March on charges including involvement with an illegal organization and publishing false news. (Courtesy: Facebook account)
Updated 03 December 2018
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Egyptian court orders release of prominent blogger — judicial source

  • Abbas was arrested in March on charges including involvement with an illegal organization and publishing false news

CAIRO: An Egyptian criminal court has ordered the conditional release of prominent blogger and journalist Wael Abbas, a judicial source said on Monday, rejecting an appeal by state security prosecutors to keep him in detention.
Abbas, an award-winning journalist and rights activist, was arrested in March on charges including involvement with an illegal organization and publishing false news.
The source said the precise conditions of his release were not yet known but could include him not being allowed to leave home without police permission, subjecting himself to police supervision and presenting himself every 45 days in court.
“The question is why was he arrested in the first place? He is a prisoner because of his opinions and he has lost seven months of his life,” his lawyer Gamal Eid said.
Eid said his client denied the charges presented by state security prosecutors.
Abbas first became known in activist circles after posting videos showing police brutality. One such video, published in 2006, caused such uproar that it prompted an investigation resulting in a rare conviction of two policemen.


Pentagon plans to send 5,000 more troops to Middle East amid Iran threat: US officials

Updated 23 May 2019
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Pentagon plans to send 5,000 more troops to Middle East amid Iran threat: US officials

  • Tehran and Washington have this month been escalating rhetoric against each other
  • The US military deployed a carrier strike group, bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East earlier this month

WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defense is considering a US military request to send about 5,000 additional troops to the Middle East amid increasing tensions with Iran, two US officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Tehran and Washington have this month been escalating rhetoric against each other, following US President Donald Trump’s decision to try to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero and beef up the US military presence in the Gulf in response to what he said were Iranian threats.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the request had been made by US Central Command, but added that it was not clear whether the Pentagon would approve the request.
The Pentagon regularly receives — and declines — requests for additional resources from US combatant commands throughout the world.
One of the officials said the requested troops would be defensive in nature.
This appeared to be the latest request for additional resources in the face of what US officials have said are credible threats from Iran against US forces and American interests in the Middle East.
The Pentagon declined to comment on future plans.
“As a matter of longstanding policy, we are not going to discuss or speculate on potential future plans and requests for forces,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said on Wednesday.
Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Tuesday that while threats from Iran in the Middle East remained high, deterrence measures taken by the Pentagon had “put on hold” the potential for attacks on Americans.
The US military deployed a carrier strike group, bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East earlier this month in response to what Washington said were troubling indications of possible preparations for an attack by Iran.
Trump had warned on Monday that Iran would be met with “great force” if it attacked US interests in the Middle East.