By Mahmoud Mourad CAIRO (Reuters) - A prominent Egyptian poet could face up to three years in jail over a Facebook post in which she criticised the slaughter of animals at a Muslim festival, a case which rights activists say shows how the government is muzzling free speech. Fatima Naoot described the Prophet Abraham's dream - in which, according to Islamic belief, God tells him to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith - as a "nightmare". "A massacre which is repeated every year because of the nightmare of a righteous man about his good son." The poet - whose trial began on Wednesday - has been charged with contempt of Islam, spreading sectarian strife and disturbing public peace, judicial sources and Naoot said. "The loser will be the cultural movement." Rights groups say a crackdown launched by the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, following the toppling of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, has muzzled freedom of expression.
Rights group Amnesty International called on Wednesday for targeted U.N. sanctions and investigations into possible war crimes in Libya to end a cycle of abductions and summary killings by rival armed factions. An Amnesty report released on Wednesday focused on Benghazi, where an alliance of Islamist militants and ex-rebels, known as Shura Council, has battled for months with forces allied to army General Khalifa Haftar, who declared war on Islamist extremists. The battle over Benghazi is part of a wider conflict involving two major factions and their competing governments struggling for control of the North African state and its oil resources four years after civil war ousted Muammar Gaddafi. London-based Amnesty said that the fighting in Benghazi, the main city in eastern Libya, involved tit-for-tat attacks, abductions, summary killings and torture by each side.
Tanzanian police arrested a senior opposition figure and 32 supporters, officials said on Wednesday, at an allegedly illegal rally where police used tear gas to scatter demonstrators. Tanzania is due to hold a referendum on a new constitution in April and a general election in October when opposition parties plan to field a single presidential candidate to challenge the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party's 54-year grip on power. On Wednesday the National Assembly Speaker temporarily adjourned the parliamentary session which descended into a shouting match after opposition lawmakers demanded an urgent debate on Tuesday's arrests. Opposition lawmakers said police had beaten up the opposition supporters they arrested.