Authorities to release man charged with defaming military, rights group says

Egyptian authorities will likely release Nasary Hassan, who was detained in March on charges of defaming the military, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said Wednesday.

Qena Military Court sentenced Hassan to six months in prison and a fine of LE5000, but he will likely be set free as he has already been detained for more than eight months, the network said in a statement.

The decision follows an appeal by ANHRI's legal team against the court's earlier decision to sentence Hassan to three years in prison.

Hassan lived in Germany but returned to Cairo in March to celebrate the revolution and the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

On 13 March, military police beat him outside the Hurghada City Council, where he was protesting against the garbage piling up in the city, according to the ANHRI statement. He lost consciousness and had to be taken to a hospital.

After being discharged from the hospital, Hassan contacted the military governor and explained what had happened. He was asked to meet the governor, but was again beaten by military police upon his return.

A military prosecutor then charged Hassan with defaming the military and presented him to Qena Military Court for trial.


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