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Pro-democracy activist sentenced to three months in prison

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The misdemeanour appeals court of Qasr ElNil has sentenced Egyptian blogger and activist Ahmed Doma, age 21, to three months in prison after he was accused of assaulting police officers during a demonstration on 3 May 2010. The demonstration was organized by independent and opposition MPs as well as other political figures to call for democracy and protest against the extension of emergency law for another two years. On 22 May, the misdemeanour court of Qasr ElNil sentenced Doma to six months in jail on the allegation of assaulting police officers during the march. The appeals court then reduced the sentence to three months. Doma was taken directly from the court to prison.

The verdict against Doma is a clear message from the Egyptian government to oppress advocates of democracy; a message which is delivered by using violence, fabricating cases or adopting police measures to crack down on protesters and those who refuse to compromise on their right to a state free of emergency law, corruption and torture.

Despite contradictions in the statements of officers and witnesses, the courts issued their rulings on the case based on an accusation of assaulting police officers versus an assault by police on demonstrators who were exercising their right to express their resentment regarding the continuation of martial law and oppressive rule in Egypt.

Doma enjoyed freedom for only three months as he had previously been imprisoned after a military trial in early 2009 in which he stood accused of crossing into Gaza and expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people during the Israeli assault on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009.

ANHRI said, "The prison sentence against Ahmed Doma is a new condemnation of the emergency state and torture in Egypt. The sentencing is a new crime added to the many crimes committed by the government against advocates of democracy. A day will come when this government will be tried for its crimes, with a slight difference in that it will be a fair trial, not like the current tribunal charades."

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