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Egyptian activists protest military trials in new draft constitution

The approval of an amendment by a constitutional committee allowing military trials for civilians is considered a setback by democracy activists.

CAIRO — Sinai novelist and activist Mosaad Abu Fajr was jailed for nearly three years under the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak for his campaign “Wedna Ne`ish” (We Want To Live), which protested issues faced in the Sinai and among the Bedouin community. Today, he is one of 50 people on a committee amending the 2012 constitution, drafted by the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists.

This week, Fajr stormed out of a committee session when it appeared clear that a majority was voting in favor of an amended article that allows civilians to be tried in military court — a controversial amendment to Article 174 added since the July 3 military-backed ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi.

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