Lawyers call for immediate release of Islamist Magdi Hussein

Ahram Online , Monday 24 Jan 2011

A week after his release had been ordered, interior ministry fails to implement the court's ruling

Lawyers and supporters of prominent Islamist Magdi Hussein, leader of the frozen Islamist-leaning Labour Party, held a press conference on Monday at the press syndicate demanding his immediate release, which the Administrative Court had ordered a week ago.

Abdelhamid Barakat, Labour party member, said "Magdi Hussein's only crime is that he supported the Palestinian people" and added that although there are only eight days left for Hussein's sentence to end, they are still demanding his immediate release without further delay.

Barakat called on other parties and political groups to support their campaign stating that "although eight days seem little, the non-judicial decision not to release Hussein when the court demands should not be dealt with lightly."

One of Hussein's lawyers, Salah Sediq, said "Magdi Hussein's trial was not just from the start, his lawyers were not allowed in court and he was sentenced to two years without proper legal representation."

Naglaa El-Qalioby, Hussein's wife, held back her tears as she explained "our next step will be to hold a sit-in in front of the general attorney's office because it should be him responsible for Magdi Hussein's release and not the ministry of interior, the body which refused his release."

Representatives from the press syndicate, Kefaya, the Karama party and Egyptian Women for Change were present to support the Labour party's demand. They also condemned the government's role in repressing pro-Palestinian activists and what they described as its support for Israel.

After two years in prison, Egypt's Administrative Court ordered on 19 January the early release of Hussein.

The decision came after El-Qalioby filed a case to the court.

El-Qalioby had stated that she would file another suit against the interior minister for failing to release her husband.

Egyptian law allows release in some cases when detainees have served 75 per cent of their sentence.

Hussein was sentenced by a military tribunal for entering Gaza "illegally" through a cross-border tunnel. His sentence is due to end on the 2 February.

Short link: