The undersigned organizations expressed surprise and strongly condemned the military trial of an Egyptian young man without a crime except the love for his country. Ahmed Hassan Bassiouny created a group on Facebook to assist Egyptians awaiting recruitment and to answer their questions about prerequisites for military service. Military prosecution charged him disclosing military secrets on the internet despite the state owned radio station “El-Shabab wa El-Riada” praised the group and hosted the young man describing him as a role model for Egyptian youth.
On his group, Ahmed mentioned all necessary documents needed for recruitment, submission dates, deadlines and other formalities. He stated that his group is ” unofficial , voluntary aiming to offer the best possible answers”. The group members reached 1600 , all very supportive and excited for this bold initiative.
However, Ahmed was surprised to find a summoning from the military prosecution. He was interrogated on charges of disclosing military information despite this information is available to all Egyptians and is often published in the press.
The undersigned defense team said,” It is a big mistake to court-martial a young man for loving his country. We cannot find the slightest offense committed by this young man. His deed is out of good will and if he had gone wrong in his initiative, military trials are certainly not the way to react to a group on Facebook”.
Ahmed Hassan Bassiouny is not the first internet activist to face military trial this year. In March 2010, Ahmed Mostafa was court-martialed because of his writings on the internet. Shortly after and as a result of pressure from human rights organizations , the government stopped the hearings to save the young man’s career.
The undersigned organizations hope that the Egyptian government would reconsider this decision this time as well in a step forward to remedy the wrong act of presenting a young man to military trial without crime unless the government is cruel enough to punish him for loving his country.
Link to the group of alleged offense
Egyptian Human Rights Organizations Call On The Government To Stop Military Trial Of A Blogger
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Hisham Mubarak Law Center
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expressi