Twelve prominent Egyptian activists, including Wael Ghonim and presidential hopeful Bothaina Kamel, have reportedly been referred to a military court on charges of attempting to bring down the state and inciting hatred against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Egypt’s military leaders have faced widespread criticism since they came into power after the fall of Mubarak. Activists working with the No Military Trials Campaign have been campaigning on behalf of 12,000 civilians tried and imprisoned by the military, and report that only 2,613 civilians have been released.
As protests in Egypt continue into their seventh day and police return to the streets, at least six journalists were arrested in Cairo earlier today. They were released after about three hours later, amidst unconfirmed reports that the United States had demanded their release. Equipment seized during the arrests was not returned to the correspondents. Al Jazeera reported that six of their journalists had been arrested, including Dan Nolan, the network’s United Arab Emirates’ correspondent. ‘Unsure if arrested or about to be deported. 6 of us held at army checkpoint outside Hilton hotel. Equipment seized too. #Egypt #jan25’, he tweeted just after midday BST on Monday. Activists also raised the alarm over the whereabouts of blogger Wael Ghonim, who works for Google Middle East. Ghonim has not been heard from since Thursday, 27 January. Only a day before, he voiced his anger over the government’s censorship of social media. Access to the internet has been mostly blocked, but activists and journalists have continued to get the word out via landlines and satellite phones.