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Egyptian rights coalition calls for release of 2013 'Shura protesters' case

Ahram Online , Saturday 26 Nov 2016
 Alaa Abdel-Fattah
File Photo: With fingers stained in ink apparently after finishing paperwork, Egypt’s most prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah greets relatives following his release on bail from Tora prison in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. (AP Photo)
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The Front to Defend Freedoms, an Egyptian coalition consisting of a number of political parties and rights organisations, released a statement on the third anniversary of the so-called “Shura protests” calling for the release of people detained in that case as well as a stop to “policies of oppression.”

The “Shura protests” case dates back to November 2013, when police broke up a protest in front of the now-defunct Shura Council where demonstrators demanded that the committee tasked with writing Egypt's constitution at the time strike down articles that allowed for military trials of civilians.

The statement called for the release of the Egyptian activists Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Abdel-Rahman Tarek and Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, “who tried to defend female protesters after they were beaten by security forces as he passed by the protest but did not participate.”

The statement also called for the overturning of verdicts issued in absentia against other defendants who were sentenced to 15 years in prison in the same case.

Dozens were arrested during the protest and 22 defendants stood trial for breaking the protest law two days after it was issued.

In September 2015, 18 of the 22 defendants were pardoned by a presidential decree, while earlier this month one detainee was pardoned by the president.

The Front to Defend Freedoms is a coalition that was formed in February 2016 to “defend constitutional rights and liberties,” and it consists of a number of political parties and rights organisations including the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Dostour Party, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) and El-Hakanya Centre for Social and Economic rights. 

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