Name: Alaa Abdel Fattah
He was again sentenced to 5 years in prison by a Criminal Court in Cairo during a re-trail of the case on 23 February 2015 for participating in a protest and assaulting a policeman.
Reason Behind Bars:
On 11 June 2014 civil society activist and blogger, Alaa Abdel Fattah was sentenced to 15 years in prison and handed a fine of EGP 100000 (approximately US $14000) for participating in a peaceful protest. Alaa was among a group of activists who protested against the use of military courts to try civilians. The protests took place on 26 November 2013 outside the Shuna-Council – Egypt’s Upper House of Parliament. He was charged with “demonstrating without prior notification,” “assaulting security forces,” “stealing a public radio,” and “interrupting the work of national institutions.” He was sentenced in absentia as he was denied access to the court when the sentencing was done.
On 28 November 2013, about 20 security agents physically assaulted Alaa and his wife Manal Bahey el Din who is a blogger and activist and confiscated computers and telephones at their home before he was arrested. He was detained for close to four months and later released on bail.
Alaa has been arrested and detained several times in the past for his activism and played an instrumental role in the protests during the Arab Spring that led to the down fall of former President Hosni Mubarak. He was detained in 2006 for a month and a half for his online activities and was summoned by the Egyptian authorities in October 2011 for taking part in a peaceful demonstration organised by Egypt’s Coptic Christians in October 2011. 27 protesters and a military officer were killed during the demonstrations.
On 5 January 2014, the North Giza Criminal Court sentenced Alaa to one year in prison on charges of arson, damage to property and danger to public safety. The charges were based on allegations that Alaa and another activist attacked the campaign headquarters of former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq on 28 May 2012. The one year sentence was suspended for three years.
Alaa was given a summons for his arrest by the Office of the Public Protector and on 28 November he wrote to the Public Protector confirming that that he will respect the summons. He was however arrested on 28 November 2013, and held in pre-trial detention until he was provisionally released in March 2014 by the South Cairo Criminal Court on bail of EGP 10000 (approximately us $ 1400). He is a prisoner of conscience and is in jail on fictitious charges for his human rights campaigns.
On 18 August 2014, Alaa began a hunger strike following news that his father Ahmed Seif El-Islam, a prominent human rights lawyer, was taken into an extensive care unit after his open heart surgery. According to a statement released by Alaa’s family the hunger strike followed a “decisive moment” when Alaa decided he “will not cooperate with this absurd and unfair situation, even if it costs him his life." Alaa’s family and friends stated that they are holding the Egyptian government accountable for any deterioration in Alaa’s health, since it was the draconian Egyptian government that imprisoned him for the third time since 25 January 2014 based on trumped up charges.
For more information
Write immediately to the Egyptian authorities urging them to release Alaa Abdel Fattah and other activists arrested for exercising their rights of assembly and association.
Send Appeals to
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia, Cairo
Arab Republic of Egypt
Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights
Mahy Hassan Abdel Latif
Multilateral Affairs and International Security Affairs
Corniche al-Nil, Cairo
Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: 00202 25749713
Write to the Egyptian diplomatic representation in your country. See a list of Egyptian diplomatic representation abroad here.