Egypt TV Presenter Acquitted of Incitement to Kill Mursi

Egyptian television presenter Tawfiq Okasha was acquitted of insulting and incitement to kill the president, according to a faxed court statement.

Okasha’s political-commentary al-Faraeen satellite channel remains off-air, today’s statement said. It was shut down on Aug. 9 in what Okasha described as an expected move given his anti-Islamist views.

In June, Egypt elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, who has vowed to uphold media freedoms. Opponents say he has since cracked down on media critical of him and his Muslim Brotherhood allies.

In a separate case, Egyptian freelance journalist Mohamed Sabry faces an “unfair military trial,” Amnesty International said in a statement yesterday. He is believed to be the first civilian to be arrested and face a military trial since Egypt passed a new constitution in late December.

The campaign, “No Military Trials for Civilians,” gathered strength after the Egyptian army took over government in February 2011. It claimed 12,000 civilians had been tried in military courts during 17 months of army rule, more than during ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

Article 198 of the new constitution, passed by referendum, was criticized by the campaign’s head, Mona Seif, for continuing to allow the military trial of civilians.

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