Protesters in Upper Egypt charged with blocking railways, sedition

Ahram Online, Tuesday 6 Mar 2012

Activists from the April 6 Youth Movement (Democratic Front) and the 67 Handicapped Movement are charged with disrupting railways in Assiut and attempting to 'topple the government'

A railways blockage, a common appearance in Egypt since the revolution of Jan 25 (Photo: Al-Ahram archive)

The Prosecutor General in Assiut detained seven political activists and charged them with "disturbing railway traffic" and attempting to "overthrow the incumbent government."

The detainees are also accused of distributing inflammatory publications and "promoting the views of the April 6 Youth Movement." The movement is a liberal revolutionary movement that was formed years before Egypt's January 25 Revolution, based on labour protests.

One of the detainees, Abdel Rahman Adel, is a member of the April 6 Youth Movement, Democratic Front (an breakaway group of the original April 6 Youth Movement).

The others detained are: Gamea Shabaan, Khedr Fathy, Ahmed Mohamed, Mohamed Abdel Al, Mohamed Abdel Nabi and Mohamed Rashed.

The Democratic Front spokesperson in Assiut, Ali El-Sayed, said that the movement had hired a lawyer to represent the defendants, some of whom are members of the 67 Handicapped Movement.

Over the past week, tens of handicapped repeatedly staged a sit-in on the railways connecting Aswan with Cairo, protesting the non-implementation of the decades-old law that obliges public sector employers to hire handicapped.

The law stipulates that the disabled must comprise five per cent of each public sector employer's staff.

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