Egyptian court upholds jail term against Alexandria activist Hassan Mostafa

Ahram Online , Tuesday 31 Mar 2015

Mostafa was sentenced over an illegal protest during the trial of policemen involved in the Khaled Said torture case

Activist Hassan Mostafa
Activist Hassan Mostafa (Photo: Hassan Mostafa Facebook)

An Egyptian court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by an activist who was sentenced to two years in jail for protesting without a permit, a judicial source said.

Hassan Mostafa, an activist based in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, along with seven other activists, was sentenced last year to two years in prison for participating in an illegal demonstration in December 2013.

Dozens were protesting at the time to demand retribution during the trial of two policemen who tortured to death  28-year-old Khaled Said, who was reportedly targeted after he posted an internet video footage ostensibly showing policemen sharing the spoils of a drug bust.

The court on Tuesday upheld the sentence against Hassan, who was also fined LE50,000 (nearly $6,550).

Mostafa can still contest the rejection of his appeal. He is not behind bars, but his lawyer Mohamed Ramadan says he can be arrested soon.

"Legally speaking, an arrest warrant against Mostafa can be issued after two weeks... If they want to arrest him they will, but he would still have the right to appeal from inside the jail."  

Egyptian authorities have launched a harsh crackdown on Islamists since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, which has seen hundreds killed in street violence and thousands of others thrown behind bars.

Several non-Islamist activists have  been sentenced to jail terms over the past 18 months for violating a notorious protest law that bans all but police-sanctioned demonstrations.

An appeal court had previously upheld sentences imposed on at least four of the defendants, the source added.

Prominent female activist and rights lawyer Mahinour El-Masry  was arrested at the same protest and first sentenced alongside the others. Her sentence was slashed to six months before she was freed pending a retrial last September. 

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