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
0

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.


Thousands of Algerians protest against Bouteflika’s re-election bid

Updated 33 min 9 sec ago
0

Thousands of Algerians protest against Bouteflika’s re-election bid

ALGIERS: Thousands of young Algerians took to the streets of the capital on Friday to protest against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s plans to seek a fifth term and police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.
The 81-year old, in office since 1999, has said he will contest the April 18 presidential election, despite concerns over his health. He has been seen in public only a handful of times since suffering a stroke in 2013.
“No to Bouteflika and no to Said,” a crowed chanted while marching through the center of Algiers. The president’s youngest brother Said Bouteflika is a presidential adviser.
Reuters journalists filmed tear gas being fired over a crowd that ran to escape.
“We and the security are brothers,” some protesters chanted.
The protest came after mosque preachers had warned in Friday prayers against demonstrating, warning of violence.
Bouteflika’s re-election bid comes after the ruling FLN party picked him as its official presidential candidate. Several political parties, trade unions and business organizations have already said they would support his re-election.
He is expected to easily win the vote as the opposition remains weak and divided.
But many young people feel disconnected from an elite made up of veteran fighters from Algeria’s 1954-1962 independence war with France.
His re-election would provide short-term stability for the FLN, the army and business tycoons, and postpone a potentially difficult succession.
Bouteflika remains popular with many Algerians, who credit him with ending a long civil war by offering an amnesty to former extremist fighters.
Algeria is a key gas supplier to Europe and an ally of the United States in the fight against Islamist militants in the Sahel region of North Africa.