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Egypt frees blogger detained for nearly seven months

December 12, 2018

Egypt on Wednesday released blogger and journalist Wael Abbas, known for standing up against police violence, after nearly seven months in detention, his lawyer said.

Abbas was arrested at his Cairo home in May and questioned over alleged involvement in helping a “terror group achieve its objectives” and spreading “fake news”.

“Finally, Wael Abbas is released,” his lawyer Gamal Eid, who heads the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, wrote on Facebook.

Abbas has been posting about police violence, torture and corruption on social media for more than a decade.

He was particularly active during the January 2011 street protests that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

Abbas’s Twitter account was suspended in December 2017.

A criminal court in Giza near Cairo ordered his release on December 1.

Prosecutors lodged an appeal which was rejected last week.

Under the terms of Abbas’s release he will have to report to police twice a week.

Human rights groups regularly criticise President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government for cracking down on secular and left-wing activists, as well as Islamists close to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

A growing number of activists have been detained in Egypt in recent months.

As army chief, Sisi overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 after mass street protests.

Sisi was re-elected in March after securing more than 97 percent of the vote in the absence of any serious competition.


Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.