Prominent activist Khaled El-Sayed released by prosecution

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Mar 2014

El-Sayed, El-Sayes and Kamal, three leading activists from the 2011 popular uprising, released after more than a month-long spell in prison

Khaled El-Sayed
Khaled El-Sayed at his wedding in 2013 (Photo courtesy of Hoda Mahmoud Facebook Page)

Egypt's prosecutor-general on Tuesday ordered the release of three prominent activists arrested on 25 January in demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising.

Khaled El-Sayed, Mohamed El-Sayes and Nagy Kamal, all leading leftist activists during the 2011 revolt that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, were arrested for unauthorised protests, as per a law issued in November banning demonstrations not pre-approved by authorities.

More than 1,000 people were arrested on 25 January alone, according to the interior ministry.

Last month, El-Sayed released a letter from prison detailing accounts of alleged torture and ill-treatment that he and Kamal along with other detainees had faced while in detention.

"Everyone is beaten every day," El-Sayed wrote, adding that prisoners were often electrocuted and forced to remain in overcrowded cells with no room to sit or sleep.

The allegations have since drawn harsh criticism from several rights activists.

Egypt's interior ministry, the body responsible for police, has repeatedly denied accusations of torture.

Egyptian authorities have launched a crackdown on Islamists since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last July.

But the government's clampdown has recently expanded to include secular-minded activists, including prominent figures from the 2011 popular revolution, raising fears of a broadening campaign to stifle general dissent.

On Monday, well-known Egyptian journalist and leftist activist Kareem El-Beheery was released on bail after more than a month in detention. 

Freedom for the Brave (Al-Horeyya Lil Gedaan), a grassroots campaign which led the fight for the activists released on Tuesday, announced on its Facebook page that it would continue its efforts to release all political prisoners.


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