CAIRO, Sept 11 An army prosecutor sent an
Egyptian journalist to a military court on Wednesday for
allegedly publishing false news and tipping Islamist militants
to the location of troops in the Sinai region bordering on
Israel, an army statement said.
Ahmed Abu Deraa of the privately owned al-Masry al-Youm
daily was charged with "harming national security by providing
militants with locations of security forces in Sinai", according
to a statement sent to the newspaper and seen by Reuters.
The newspaper has called for his release and provided him
with a lawyer, who could not be reached for comment on the case.
A colleague of Abu Deraa, who requested anonymity because he
was not authorised to speak on behalf of the newspaper, said the
reporter was accused of spreading false news in an interview
with a private television station and in Twitter messages.
Since the army overthrew elected Islamist President Mohamed
Mursi in July, civil rights groups have voiced fears of a return
to the authoritarian era of former President Hosni Mubarak, who
was ousted by a pro-democracy uprising in 2011.
His rule was marked by human rights' abuses and the use of
military tribunals to prosecute activists, journalists and
Abu Deraa was arrested earlier this month in north Sinai,
where militants have stepped up attacks since Mursi's removal.
The army launched an offensive against Islamist militants
in the lawless peninsula this week involving dozens of tanks as
well as armoured vehicles and attack helicopters. At least 30
people were killed or wounded and nine arrested.
Six army officers were killed on Wednesday in two car bomb
explosions near military units in Sinai.
Another 10 soldiers and seven civilians were wounded in the
attacks that took place in the border town of Rafah, adjoining
the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
(Reporting and writing by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Paul