Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah(Photo courtesy of Alaa Abd El Fattah's Facebook account)
Egyptian prison authorities have started procedures to release prominent activist and blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah after he completed his prison term in the so-called 'Shura Council case', in which he was sentenced to five years in prison, his lawyer Khaled Ali said on Wednesday.
The case dates back to November 2013, when police broke up a protest against military trials of civilians in front of the now-defunct Shura Council. The protest demanded that the committee tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution remove articles allowing for military trials of civilians.
Dozens were arrested during the protest and 22 defendants stood trial for breaking the 2013 protest law, rioting and attacking public servants.
Abdel-Fattah was sentenced in 2014 to 15 years in prison, but in 2017 an appeals court reduced the sentence to five years in prison and five years probation after his release.
Abdel-Fattah is a blogger, programmer, and human rights activist who belongs to a prominent family of rights campaigners -- his father was the the late human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif; his mother is university professor and political activist Laila Suweif; and Alaa’s youngest sister Sanaa Seif is also a political activist who served a six-month prison sentence for insulting the judiciary in 2016.