Facebook activist slapped with jail term by Egyptian military court

An Egyptian military court on Tuesday sentenced a political activist to prison for "publicizing defense secrets of the country."

Activist Ahmed al-Bassiouni created a group on social networking website Facebook providing information concerning the required paperwork and procedures for joining the Egyptian military.

According to the Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, the fourth circuit of the Haram district's Military Court sentenced al-Bassiouni to six months in jail and an LE500 fine.

Al-Bassiouni is not the first activist to face a military trial this year as a result of Internet activity. In March, blogger Ahmed Mustafa faced a military trial which, after a number of court hearings, was halted by the government due to pressure from rights groups.

Some critics say that harassment of Egyptian bloggers and Internet activists represents an attempt by authorities to preempt opposition to the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Opposition movements have frequently used websites and blogs to mobilize supporters for public protests and demonstrations.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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