Egypt: officials arrest prominent rights activist

Egyptian authorities on Nov. 8 arrested prominent human rights activist and journalist Hossam Bahgat after military officials questioned him concerning a report he wrote on the secret trial of former military officers. Bahgat, who writes for Mada Masr, was charged with "publishing false news that harms national interests and disseminating information that disturbs public peace." Rights groups such as Amnesty International  have called the arrest a "blow for freedom of expression." [Sic*]

From Jurist, Nov. 9. Used with permission.

Note: Bahgat was an outspoken opponent of the Hosni Mubarak regime, which he accused of torture and repression for years before the 2011 revolution. 

* Obviosuly, Amnesty International meant a blow against freedom of expression, not "for" it.

Egypt authorities release rights activist

Egyptian officials released human rights activist and journalist Hossam Bahgat on Nov. 10 after he signed a statement promising to abide by legal procedures when reporting on matters concerning the Armed Forces. The statement also says he was not under physical or mental harm when signing. Bahgat's detention was condemned internationally by advocacy groups including Amnesty International, the Community to Protect Journalists and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. (Jurist)

Egypt sentences two in killing of detained lawyer

An Egyptian court on Dec. 12 sentenced national security officers Omar Mahmoud and Mohamed el-Anwar for beating lawyer Karim Hamdi to death in Cairo last February. The court's decision is part of a series of cases seeking to end police brutality in the state. The conviction also comes after President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi vowed to crackdown on police brutality following the deaths of several inmates. (Jurist)

Egypt: author faces prison for writing about hashish

Egyptian activist attorney Nasser Amin is challenging a law that calls for writers to be imprisoned for words that violate the country's "morals." The challenge comes in the trial of novelist Ahmed Naji, who could face two years in prison and a fine of nearly $1,300 for his work The Use of Life—because of its explicit sex scene and numerous references to hashish use. See full story at Global Ganja Report...