Alaa Abd El-Fattah (Photo: masry25.blogspot.com)
Egypt's military prosecution Thursday rejected the appeal presented by Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s lawyers for his release, as well appeals for another 30 defendants. The 31 are all accused of inciting violence during the bloody attack on protesters by the military in Maspero on 9 October. Accordingly, Abd El-Fattah will continue his original 15-day detention, pending further investigation.
The decision was met by anger and disappointment among Abd El-Fattah's family and supporters, as well as activists campaigning against military trials for civilians.
Human rights activist and lawyer Malek Adly revealed on his Twitter account that Abd El-Fattah was adament in his refusal to acknowledge the military prosecution's investigation as the Army is suspected of involvement in the Maspero clashes. This invalidates it from investigating the crimes committed that night.
By detaining such a prominent rights activist as Abd El-Fattah, the ruling military council has brought greater attention at home and abroad on its practice of trying civilians before military courts and its various crackdowns on freedoms and rights since assuming power on 11 February after the popular ousting of Hosni Mubarak. Activists in London have announced that they will protest in solidarity with Abd El-Fattah next Saturday as part of the Occupy London sit-in outside St. Paul's Cathedral while similar action is expected in America.