UN calls for release of Egyptian blogger

AP News
Posted: Nov 11, 2011 6:59 AM
UN calls for release of Egyptian blogger

The U.N. human rights office is calling on Egyptian authorities to release a prominent blogger and others imprisoned for exercising free speech.

The military trial and jailing of blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah and a hunger strike by his mother have gained wide publicity at home and abroad.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, says Egypt must "guarantee full respect for the freedom of expression" nine months after leader Hosni Mubarak's ouster.

He told reporters Friday in Geneva that his agency is "concerned about what appears to be a diminishing public space for freedom of expression and association" in Egypt. He also said the agency was disappointed that its calls for Egypt repeal its emergency rules and end military trials of civilians have been ignored.

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