Blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Abdel Rahman were sentenced to five years in jail, and given 100,000LE fines in the court case against protesters arrested outside the Shura Council in November 2013. The other 23 defendants in the same case received 3 year sentences and the same level of fine. The long jail terms prompted an outcry from local and international human rights organisations.
Meanwhile, Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi signed into law anti-terrorism legislation which criminalises almost all forms of peaceful protest, by designating any actions which ‘obstruct’ the workings of institutions or public roads as “terrorism”. Independent news website Mada Masr reported on Tuesday that Article 1 of the new laws defines as “terrorist”,
any association, organization, group or gang that attempts to, aims to, or calls for destabilizing public order; endangers the wellbeing or safety of society; harms individuals or terrorizes them, or endangers their lives or freedoms or rights or safety; endangers social unity; harms the environment or natural resources or monuments or communications or transportation or funds or buildings or public or private property, or occupies them; obstructs the work of public authorities or the judiciary or government entities or local municipalities or houses of worship or hospitals or scientific institutions or diplomatic missions or international organizations; blocks public or private transportation, or roads; harms national unity or threatens national peace; obstructs the implementation of the constitution or laws or bylaws; uses violence or power or threats or acts of terrorism to achieve any of its goals.”
Penalties include long jail sentences, dissolution of organisations and the seizure of individual and group funds.
What you can do:
- Write to the Egyptian Embassy in your country calling for the immediate release of Alaa Abdelfattah and all other political detainees in Egypt and for the repeal of the anti-terrorism law
- Share and print out this poster alaa_poster1
- Get your student union or trade union to pass a resolution in solidarity with jailed activists in Egypt