Update: 12 April – Mahienour al-Masry released pending a sentencing hearing on 20 May in connection with her case for breaking the anti-protest laws.
Revolutionary Socialist activist Mahienour el-Masry has been arrested in Alexandria and is currently being interrogated by prosecutors, the Revolutionary Socialists said on their Twitter account last night.
Mahienour, a well known lawyer and activist, was sentenced to two years in prison in January for breaking the anti protest laws. However she was not arrested at the time and the sentence was passed on her in absentia.
Three other activists have already been jailed in the same case: Lu’ay Al-Qahwagi, Amr Hafez, Nasir Abu-al-Hamd and Islam Muhamadein were sentenced to two years hard labour in prison and ordered to pay a 50,000 LE fine (£4,000) on 2 January. Hassan Moustafa, another leading activist with the Revolutionary Socialists movement received the same sentence but, like Mahienour, was not present in court.
Their ‘crime’ was to organise a demonstration without police permission in violation of the new anti-protest laws which came into force late in 2013. Mahienour and Hassan have long histories as activists – both played leading roles in building the campaign to expose the role of the security forces in the horrific murder of Khaled Sa’id, battered to death outside an internet cafe in 2010. The protests which followed Sa’id’s murder played a key role in galvanising opposition to Mubarak in the run-up to the uprising of 2011 which toppled the dictator. Hassan was also prosecuted during Mohamed Morsi’s period in power. After he attempted to file a complaint about the lack of legal representation for dozens of protestors arrested on 20 January 2013, he faced a string of accusations including assaulting an officer and inciting detainees to flee. He was cleared of these charges in November 2013, only to be charged again under the anti-protest law.
Mahienour, a qualified lawyer, was arrested and beaten by the police in March 2013, after she went with a group of lawyers to represent arrested demonstrators at a police station in Alexandria.The sentences against the Alexandrian activists come after leaders of the 6th April Youth Movement were given three year jail terms by a Cairo court in December.
What you can do:
- Send letters of protest to the Egyptian authorities via the Egyptian Embassy in your country demanding the release of Mahienour and all other detainees. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org in the UK.
- Check our website for details of other protest actions you can take which will posted here soon.