A British student will be put on trial in Egypt for spying after he took an image with his phone from a plane he was flying on.
19-year-old Muhammed Fathi Abulkasem was detained when he arrived at Alexandria airport on November 21. He was on a trip with a friend and had taken an image of the airport with his phone as his plane arrived, but because there was a military helicopter at the airport that appeared in his shot, he was charged with “collecting information of a military facility” and is now being held in an Egyptian jail. Abulkasem’s cousin, Shareen Nawaz, said that the hotel booking made by his cousin and friend was flagged as suspicious and authorities were waiting for the pair when they arrived at the airport. It’s unclear why the hotel flagged the booking.
According to Nawaz, Abulkasem can now be possibly tried in a military trial. Such trials are held in secret. Meanwhile, his family has begun petitioning British authorities and politicians to call for his release. Abulkasem is originally from Britain, but moved to Libya to take care of his grandmother while completing college studies remotely. The trip was meant to be a week-long getaway with his friend. Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said they are working on assisting Abulkasem’s family.
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