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Egypt's Maher, Adel and Douma sentenced to 3 years in jail
April 6 Youth movement founder Ahmed Maher, member Mohamed Adel and prominent activist Ahmed Douma are handed a three-year prison sentence; revolutionary activists and rights groups express anger
Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Dec 2013
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Activists
Political activists Ahmed Maher (R), Ahmed Douma (C) and Mohamed Adel, founder of 6 April movement, look on from behind bars in Abdeen court in Cairo, December 22, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

An Egyptian misdemeanour court sentenced on Sunday three leading Egyptian activists to three years in jail and an LE50,000 fine each for charges including organising illegal protests, judicial sources told Ahram Online.

Founder of April 6 Youth movement Ahmed Maher, member Mohamed Adel and long-time activist Ahmed Douma stand charged of allegedly assaulting police officers during a demonstration outside a Cairo court where Maher was handing himself in for questioning over allegations he had organised an illegal protest.

The activists, known for being at the forefront of Egypt's 2011 uprising that toppled former autocrat Hosni Mubarak, are accused of joining a protest without seeking a police permit as required by a new disputed protest law.

As the sentences were pronounced, they chanted "down, down with military rule" from the dock at the courtroom in central Cairo.

The case has fuelled fears of an expanding crackdown on opposition by the country's interim authorities, beyond a sustained campaign on Islamists since the army's July ouster of president Mohamed Morsi amid massive protests against his troubled one-year rule.

The defendants, who will additionally be placed on a three-year probation period after serving their terms, can still appeal the ruling.

The Cairo-based Arab Organization for Human Rights condemned the sentence saying it contradicts the spirit of the 25 January and 30 June revoultions. The group said it would represent the defendants in an appeal of the verdict and called on the prosecutor-general to release all three on bail in the time being.

April 6 spokesman Khaled El-Masry argued the verdict has no legal basis and that it was a clear "revenge against the 25 January 2011 Revolution."

"If this were a fair trial, they wouldn't have spent one hour in jail," he told Ahram Online.

El-Masry vowed the movement would take all necessary legal action to appeal the ruling, saying the group will carry on protesting without seeking prior permits from authorities in defiance of the controversial protest law.

The passing of the protest law on 24 November -- nearly 10 days after a three-month state of emergency, in place since the July ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, was lifted -- had been viewed by rights activists as an alternative tool for crackdown on public dissent.

It requires protest organisers to seek authorisation three days ahead of any planned demonstration. Protests can be banned if deemed a threat to national security.

"We do not acknowledge this law. It's a failure; if you turn the television on you will see people protesting everywhere," he concluded.

Member of the Nasserist Popular Current movement Emad Hamdi expressed his astonishment at the verdict, highlighting his total support of the three prominent revolutionary figures.

"When I see someone like Ahmed Shafiq from the Mubarak regime pronounced innocent in many of the allegations levelled against him, while those three revolutionary figures receive a sentence of three years in prison, then something is definitely wrong," said Hamdi.

Meanwhile, speaking to the press after the announcement of the verdict against the three activists, Mostafa Maher, brother of April 6 founder Ahmed Maher, accused the interim regime of following the path of past regimes by defaming "the revolution's revolutionaries and symbols" and fabricating facts, adding that it might face a fate similar to that of Mubarak soon.

Prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, another symbol of the 2011 revolt, has also been detained over allegations he organised, along with Maher, an illegal protest against military trials for civilians in November.

Abdel-Fattah is currently facing trial for breaking the protest law and assaulting police officers. 

In November, a harsh 11-year sentence handed down to 14 Islamist women supporters of toppled president Morsi sparked public outcry before an appeal judge reduced the verdict to a one-year suspended sentence for each, allowing the defendants to walk free.





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6



Karim
22-12-2013 07:47pm
49-
35+
It is their price of creating chaos
Such persons as mr Maher put Egypt on the edge of civil war! They are not much better than Ikhwan. And only army could stop it. Yes the army is not the best choice...
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Bernie
22-12-2013 11:38pm
24-
0+
Down with Maher and April 6
Maher and his ilk are very similar respectively to Robespierre and the Jacobins of the french revolution. They have a huge blood lust, and given the chance would not hesitate one bit to institute a bloody dictatorship as well as the guilloti
5



ALBERT
22-12-2013 07:39pm
72-
183+
WE MISSED THE mb
We told you military dictatorship won't bring freedom to Egypt. We really missed the MB. I hope the fascist juta will be crushed soon.
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abdulrahman
23-12-2013 04:16pm
6-
0+
Boycott The Referendum
The only alternative left for the Egyptians who felt cheated by the coup regime is to boycott the referendum. Attending and voting no would be useless because the Military and the corrupt officials will cheat. By being absent is better because it will show the turn out low , thereby rendering the result as illegitimate
4



Jon
22-12-2013 04:54pm
75-
167+
Fry in their own fat
Ahmed Maher represents the hope and the future for Egypt. Unfortunately, he made an epic mistake by supporting the coup of 2. July. He thought the revolution could be restarted, with a new constitution and new elections. This was tragically naive. He released the best. Now it eats him.
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3



Alejandro
22-12-2013 04:13pm
66-
74+
2014
The upcoming January 25. Let your voice against fascist dictatorship and those who seek to destroy everything that the revolutionaries fought for be heard on this date.
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2



charles holland
22-12-2013 03:53pm
12-
0+
the world is blessed
because of you the world is blessed
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1



amir
22-12-2013 01:50pm
44-
145+
great news
the seeds you planted now enjoy the fruits, and this is for all egyptian if you support army they will not put u behind bars,but if you oppose them then you go to jail, no matter where u come from Islamist, secular or anything well this is your doing and we all will pay heavy price for it
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