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Egyptian Activist Summoned for Criticizing Military

Egyptian blogger and democracy activist Hossam el-Hamalawy (file photo)

Egyptian blogger and democracy activist Hossam el-Hamalawy (file photo)

A prominent Egyptian blogger and democracy activist has been summoned for questioning by the country's military rulers after he publicly accused an army official of instigating abuses against civilians.

Hossam el-Hamalawy said he was ordered to appear before military prosecutors Tuesday after he charged in a televised interview that the head of the country's military police was responsible for torturing activists. Hamalawy added that he has testimonies, videos and other evidence to back up his claims.

His interview aired Thursday on a popular television program on the private ON-TV. The presenter, Reem Maged, was also summoned for questioning, as was a second journalist, Nabil Sharaf el-Din. Maged is a potential presidential candidate in the country's upcoming elections.

Human rights groups say that following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February, Egyptian authorities have continued to restrict freedom of assembly, torture detainees and try civilians in military courts. The army took power immediately after Mr. Mubarak was toppled.

The army has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing against Egyptian citizens and says only criminals were arrested and tried.

Hamalawy was one of the leading figures in the protest movement. He has a long record of criticizing Mr. Mubarak and was arrested during demonstrations in 2000.

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