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Court sentences activists to two years in jail

(ANHRI/IFEX) – 1 April 2012 – ANHRI denounces the sentencing of eight activists by the Misdemeanors Court of Rod El Farag. The activists, who had been participating in a peaceful demonstration when they were arrested, were each sentenced to two years in jail and fined 100 Egyptian pounds.

On January 4, 2011, Mustafa Mohiy Eddin, Mohammed Atef, Mohammed Naji, Mostafa Shawki, Tamer Adel Abdulaziz, Ahmed Refaat, Dia Eddin Ahmed Rabi and Amr Ahmed Hassan participated in a peaceful demonstration in Shubra in front of the Virgin Church to denounce the terrorist attack against the Church of Saints area of Alexandria. Security services arrested and detained them in a Rod El Farag police station and accused them of attacking security forces and destruction of properties and rioting.

They were later referred to the Public Prosecution for investigation on charges of gathering and destruction of public and private property and the use of force against officers and soldiers of the police, and broadcasting propaganda. The conclusion of the investigations led the prosecution to refer the case to the Misdemeanors Court of Rod El Farag for a trial based on article 3/2 of Act No. 10 of 1914 Law on crowd modified by Law No. 87 of 1968, and articles 102, 137, 162, 3, 242, 243, 2 and 361 of the Egyptian Penal Code. The court sentenced each activist to two years' imprisonment and a fine of 100 pounds.

ANHRI said, “This ruling is a blow for freedom of expression and a sharp decline of the right to peaceful demonstration after the success of the Egyptian revolution.”

“The court should stand for freedoms and favor the gains of the revolution instead of issuing unjust sentences against activists who took advantage of their rights to express their opinions peacefully. We hope this provision will be repealed before the Court of Appeal and prevent Egyptians from being jailed for expressing their opinions, in the spirit of the revolution, which called for freedom,” ANHRI added.

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