CAIRO: Human Rights Watch has called on Egypt to release a prominent activist and blogger detained by military prosecutors.
In a statement Tuesday, the New York-based group called the detention of Alaa Abdel-Fattah "a blatant effort to target one of the most vocal critics of the military."
Military prosecutors detained Abdel-Fattah on Oct. 30 after he refused to answer questions over his alleged role in clashes in Cairo last month that killed 27 people, most of them Christians.
He has not been formally charged, though a military court has accused him of stealing a military weapon, deliberately destroying military property and attacking security forces.
Some 12,000 Egyptians have faced military trials since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February. Critics charge the military regime is carrying on many of Mubarak’s practices.
Abdel-Fattah said that he as a civilian shouldn’t be questioned by the military prosecution, especially that the army is party to the crime it’s probing. He was remanded in custody pending investigation and his detention was renewed to more 15 days last Sunday.