Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah released on bail

Ahram Online, Sunday 23 Mar 2014

Alaa Abdel-Fattah and Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, two activists charged with holding an illegal protest last year, have been released on bail

File photo: Egyptian prominent blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, center, hugs his recently born son, Khaled, his mother Laila Soueif, and his sister Ahdaf Soueif, left, after his release, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011 (Photo: AP)

Alaa Abdel-Fattah and Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, currently on trial on charges of organising an illegal protest, have been released late Sunday.

A Cairo criminal court had ordered their release on bail earlier today.

Only 13 of the 25 defendants in the case attended the trial session on Sunday.  Prominent blogger and activist Abdel-Fattah was received with cheers and applause from other defendants.

The two men were ordered to be released on bail of LE10,000 each. The prosecution objected to the release order.

Both Abdel-Fattah and Abdel-Rahman have been detained since last November in Cairo’s Tora prison and have persistently demanded their release in court proceedings. All other defendants have been released on bail.

The defendants are charged with offences related to a protest against military trials of civilians outside the Shura Council in central Cairo in November last year.

It was one of the first protests dispersed by force in accordance with a controversial new protest law issued in the same month which criminalises unauthorised public demonstrations.

The No to Military Trials campaign group claimed responsibility for organising the protest, but Abdel-Fattah was charged with being the protest organiser.

Abdel-Fattah was also charged with assaulting members of the security forces and stealing a police officer's two-way radio.

The court adjourned the case to 6 April.

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