Africa In The News

Egyptian activist and political critic to stay in jail

JOHANNESBURG, November 9 – A five-year prison sentence against Egyptian political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah for taking part in banned protests and assaulting a policeman during a demonstration outside Cairo’s Shura Council court in November 2013, has been upheld by Egypt’s Court of Cassation.
In 2014, Abdel-Fattah was sentenced to 15 years in prison, though the penalty was reduced on retrial in 2015 to five years, Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper reported.
Twenty three other defendants in the case were also sentenced but subsequently received presidential pardons.
The famous blogger is also currently facing trial for allegedly insulting the judiciary and a verdict by the court will be issued on December 30.
Egypt, under President Abdel-Fatteh Sisi, has cracked down on all political dissent and criticism under the umbrella justification of fighting an Islamist insurgency which has seen militants associated with the Islamic State carry out attacks in the restive Sinai Peninsula as well as on the mainland.
The insurgency escalated after the country’s first-ever democratically elected government in 2012, under former President Muhamud Mursi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was overthrown by the country’s military.
– African News Agency (ANA)

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