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Egypt Puts Blogger on Trial in Military Court for Criticizing Army

Twenty-year-old engineering student alleges nepotism in Egypt's top military academy

An Egyptian blogger has gone on trial in a military court in Egypt for posting an article on his Internet page about alleged nepotism in the country's military.

The Egyptian military court opened the trial of 20-year-old engineering student Ahmed Ahmed Mustafa Monday and adjourned it Tuesday until March 7.

Mustafa is charged with spreading false information about the military and tarnishing its image in a blog article that he posted a year ago. In the post, he accused Egypt's top military academy of forcing out a teacher's son to make room for a candidate from a more influential family.

International rights groups have criticized Egypt for arresting Mustafa and subjecting him to military proceedings, which normally are reserved for dealing with militants and other security threats. They say Egypt also has failed to investigate Mustafa's allegation of nepotism in the military.

Paris-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders says Mustafa's trial is designed to intimidate anyone who criticizes the Egyptian army.

Egyptian authorities have arrested a number of bloggers in recent years, but usually has put them on trial in civilian courts.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP.