Sunday, December 22, 2013

Repression in present day Egypt: 6 April activists get three years for their participation in a demonstration

Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Douma
Left to right: Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Douma. (Mada Masr)

An Egyptian misdemeanour court sentenced on Sunday three leading Egyptian activists to three years in jail for charges including organising illegal protests, judicial sources told Ahram Online.
Founder of April 6 Youth movement Ahmed Maher, member Mohamed Adel and long-time activist Ahmed Douma stand charged of allegedly assaulting policemen at an illegal protest outside a Cairo court where Maher was handing himself in for questioning over allegations he had organised an illegal protest.
The defendants have also been fined LE50,000 each.
The activists are accused of several charges including assaulting police officers and joining a protest without seeking a police permit as required by a new disputed protest law.

Maher, Adel and Douma were, as leaders of the 6 April Movement, instrumental in organizing protests in workplaces and in popular areas of Cairo against the rule of president Mubarak that wre instrumental in Mubarak's eventual demise. The sentences are probably more than anything else illustrative for the repressive climate in the Egypt after 30 June 2013. They were based upon a recent law that effectively banned all protests except the ones that got a stamp of approval from the ministry of the Interior. The law has been denounced by human rights activists as against internationally accepted basic civil rights. This is a scandalous verdict.

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