Federation of Sinai Journalists thanks Abu Deraa supporters

Federation of Sinai Journalists thanks Abu Deraa supporters

Journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa (Photo By Nasser Al- Azzazi)

Journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa
(Photo By Nasser Al- Azzazi)

In a Sunday statement, the Federation of Sinai Journalists thanked media outlets, political parties and other organisations that advocated for the release of Federation member Ahmed Abu Deraa, and affirmed its support for press freedom.

“The press and all citizens are free to express their opinions and ideas,” read the statement.  “The [journalists’] union condemns the referral of civilians, especially journalists, to military courts based on expressing ideas.”

The statement came a day after award-winning Al-Masry Al-Youm and ONTV reporter Abu Deraa was released from custody after receiving a suspended sentence from an Ismailia military court.

The 38 year-old journalist was arrested for “trespassing” at a military base on 4 September, when checking on a relative who was injured and arrested during a raid on the Sinai village of Muqat’a.

Abu Deraa’s case received international attention from human rights groups.  Last week Amnesty International called for Abu Deraa’s “immediate and unconditional release,” who they said was being detained for challenging the military’s account of events in North Sinai.

The No Military Trials for Civilians group repeatedly called upon the Constituent Assembly to completely ban military trials for civilians. The suspended 2012 constitution prohibits military trials for civilians, except in cases where harm is inflicted upon the military.

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