Cairo court lifts travel ban on political activist Esraa Abdel-Fattah in foreign funding case

Amr Kandil , Sunday 9 Jan 2022

A Cairo criminal court lifted on Sunday a travel ban imposed on journalist and political activist Esraa Abdel-Fattah related to a case involving the foreign funding of civil society organisations.

Esraa Abdel-Fattah
Political activist Esraa Abdel-Fattah. Facebook/Solafa Magdy

The court accepted an appeal by Abdel-Fattah against the travel ban she has faced since December 2014 in case 173/2011.

Sunday's ruling is final.

Non-governmental organisations (NGO) and related individuals in the case, which dates back to the January Revolution in 2011 that toppled late President Hosni Mubarak, faced allegations of receiving foreign funds.

Over the past two years, investigating judges have issued rulings, as recently as last October, dropping charges against 75 NGOs and more than 220 individuals in the case.

The investigating judge appointed by the Cairo Court of Appeals to investigate charges in the case also lifted an asset freeze and a travel ban on the founders of these NGOs.

Abdel-Fattah, a prominent figure during the 2011 Revolution, was arrested in October 2019 and had been held in pre-trial detention until July last year in case 488/2019.

That case – known as the 'Whistles Case' – included other prominent figures, such as political activist Mahinour El-Massry, who was released last July and YouTuber Shadi Srour, who was released a month later.

Veteran Journalist Khaled Dawoud, the former chairperson of the centre left Dostour (Constitution) Party, was also released pending investigation in April last year.

Current defendants in that case face charges of "joining a terrorist group,” “disseminating false news” and “misusing social media.”

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