Egypt court reduces jail sentence of prominent activists to one month

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 22 May 2016

The three activists were serving a sentence of six months after they were convicted of assaulting police officers

Douma, Adel and Ahmed Maher
Political activists Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma (L) and Mohamed Adel (R) of the 6 April movement look on from behind bars in Abdeen court in Cairo, December 22, 2013 (Reuters)

A Maadi misdemeanour appeals court has accepted an appeal filed by prominent activists Ahmed Douma, Mohamed Adel, and Ahmed Maher against their six-month prison sentence over assault charges, reducing it to one month.

Last March, a Maadi court upheld the six-month sentence for the three activists, who were convicted of assaulting police officers assigned to a court in Maadi in 2013.

The men committed the assaults while they were on trial for holding unauthorised protests, a jailable offence under a controversial law passed in 2013.

They are currently serving three-year sentences and were fined EGP 50,000 ($5,600) after being convicted in the protest case, for which all appeals have now been exhausted.

Douma has been a long-time rights activist who protested against the regime of toppled president Hosni Mubarak, the military council in 2011-2012, as well as ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

He is already serving time a life sentence over his involvement in the December 2011 “cabinet clashes” case. 

Douma, along with 269 defendants, was accused of possessing bladed weapons and Molotov cocktails, assaulting personnel from the Armed Forces and the police, torching the Scientific Complex in downtown Cairo and damaging other governmental buildings, including the cabinet and the parliament.

Earlier in May, Egypt's Court of Cassation rejected a request from Douma to suspend his life sentence, which carries 25 years in prison according to Egyptian penal code. 

The rejection of Douma's request means that he will continue to serve his sentence until the cassation court looks into the appeal of the initial verdict presented by his defence.

The court did not specify a date when it would issue a verdict on Douma's life sentence appeal.

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