Travel ban lifted for Egypt's liberal academic Amr Hamzawy

Ahram Online , Wednesday 22 Oct 2014

An Egyptian court has lifted a travel ban for two writers/activists accused along with 18 other public figures of insulting the judiciary

 Amr Hamzawy
Egyptian political scientist and activist Amr Hamzawy (Photo: Ahram Online archive)

Academic and liberal activist Amr Hamzawy and Nasserist journalist Abd El-Halim Qandil have had a travel ban imposed on them lifted on Wednesday, state news agency MENA reported.

Giza Criminal Court decided to lift the ban, put into effect last January, off the two public figures along with 18 other public figures pending a trial over insulting judiciary.

Besides insulting the judiciary, they are also accused of attempting to influence opinions of judges overlooking court cases and publishing "issues" that may affect judges.

The defendants include former Islamist MP and judge Mahmoud El-Khodeiri, pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV host Nour Abdel Hafez, rights lawyer Amir Salem, fugitive hardline Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya leader Assem Abdel-Maged and leftist human rights activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah.

Hamzawy, a former MP in the 2012 parliament, is known for his positions critical of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, 2013 and what he deemed to be anti-democratic practices ofthe current government.

Hamzawy's Freedom Egypt party supported Hamdeen Sabbahi against – current president – Abd El-Fattah El-Sisi in the last presidential elections.

Several figures, Islamists and non-Islamists, have either been accused or convicted over insulting the judiciary recently.  

In January an Egyptian court sentenced Salafist preacher Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail to one year in prison with hard labour for insulting the judiciary. And in April, jailed Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazy and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagi also got a year in prison each – in different law suits - over the same charges.

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