Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah speaks with others at the American University in Cairo, Tahrir Campus, Oct. 24, 2012 (Photo courtesy of Alaa Abd El Fattah's Facebook account)
The retrial of prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 24 others for protesting in front of the Egyptian cabinet headquarters in late 2013 has been adjourned by a Cairo criminal court to 6 August.
In June, the defendants were sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison and fines of LE100,000 each on charges of holding an unauthorised protest in front of the cabinet buildings in downtown Cairo to denounce provisions in Egypt's amended constitution that allow civilians to be tried in military courts.
A new law passed that same month bans all protests not pre-approved by authorities and offers stiff jail terms and fines for those who gather without permits.
The defendants were all fined an additional LE100,000 each and – if the conviction is upheld – will be placed under police surveillance for five years upon completion of their jail terms.
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.