Family of jailed Egyptian student Moussa calls for presidential pardon

Hana Afifi , Saturday 14 Nov 2015

The family is asking for a pardon in light of the recent death of Moussa's father

Ayman Moussa
Ayman Moussa (Photo: Courtesy of Let Ayman Bury his Father campaign's Facebook page)

The family of jailed student Ayman Aly Moussa is asking Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi grant their son Ayman a pardon in light of his father's recent death, family members told Ahram Online Saturday.

A campaign supporting the 22-year-old Moussa, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence was launched on social media calling for him to be released from jail after the death of his father, who passed away on Tuesday.

“Ayman’s dad is not here now, so I need Ayman to be with me,” Maha El-Sheikh, Moussa’s mother, told Ahram Online.

The interior ministry released Moussa temporarily on Thursday, though he could not attend his father's burial on Wednesday or the funeral on Friday, nor did he see his mother and brother, the family told Ahram Online.

Moussa was taken under strict security measures to his family house in Cairo where two of his family members were present. However, his mother and brother were receiving condolences in Kafr El-Zayat in the central Nile Delta and did not make it to their house before he was taken back to prison.

The family is now trying to arrange a Sunday visit with Moussa at Wadi El-Notroun prison in Beheira.

Friends of Moussa had launched a social media campaign Tuesday calling for him to be temporarily released so he could attend his father's burial and funeral.

The Arabic hashtag "let Ayman bury his father" soon went viral, with several prominent human rights activists and the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression expressing solidarity with the campaign.

At the time of his arrest, Moussa was an engineering student at the British University in Egypt and a diving trainer at Heliopolis Sporting Club.

He was first arrested in October 2013 during clashes between supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and police, dubbed in the media as the "6 October bridge clashes."  

He was sentenced in September 2014 to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of LE20,000 on charges of attempted murder, illegal protesting and other offences.

The Court of Cassation will issue on 13 January a decision on Moussa's appeal for a new trial.

President El-Sisi had granted 100 prisoners a presidential pardon on 23 September, which coincided with the Muslim Eid El-Adha holiday.

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