Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and others' retrial 22 July: court

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Sunday 29 Jun 2014

Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 25 others were sentenced to 15 years in absentia for breaking the Protest Law, assaulting policemen

Alaa Abd El-Fattah
Alaa Abd El-Fattah (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Cairo's Appeals Court scheduled 22 July for the retrial of human rights activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 25 others sentenced to 15 years on charges of organising an illegal protest, assaulting police officers and personnel and vandalism, judicial sources said.
The charges faced by Abdel-Fattah and the co-defendants stem from a Cairo protest in November 2013 against provisions in a new constitution that allow civilians to be tried in military courts. Authorities said the protest was in breach of a law banning all but police-sanctioned protests.
Abdel-Fattah was arrested in November and detained but released on bail late March.
Mona Seif, Abdel-Fattah's sister and founder of the No to Military Trials campaign, said her brother and two other co-defendants were waiting at the courthouse 11 June for permission to attend the court session but were denied entry.
Once the sentence was pronounced, the three were arrested at the courthouse and transfered to prison, Ahram Online's reporter at the court said.
The maximum sentence is handed to defendants being tried in absentia. When the accused give themselves up or are apprehended, a retrial must occur as per Egyptian law.
The convicts were additionally fined LE100,000 each and will be placed under five-year police surveillance after their release upon completion of the assigned jail term.
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