Jailed Egyptian activist Hassan Mostafa faces new charges

Ahram Online, Tuesday 7 May 2013

Prosecutors in Alexandria's Sidi Gaber district refer activist to criminal court where he will face charges of impeding public transportation

Hassan Mostafa
Egyptian activist Hassan Mostafa (Photo: Ahram)

Activist Hassan Mostafa, who is serving a two year sentence in prison in Alexandria, was referred to an Egyptian criminal court on charges of "inciting" activists to block Egypt's railway and help suspects evade arrest by police, the Cairo-based Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights stated on Tuesday.

Last November, several activists in Alexandria blocked the Alexandria-Cairo railway line to protest a train crash in the Upper Egyptian city of Assiut – which left 50 children dead – and demand justice for the victims.

Activists had gathered at Assiut governorate headquarters to demand the resignation of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated governor, Yehia Keshk.

Train services in Egypt's Nile Delta were halted for almost 40 minutes as a result.

Mostafa was arrested on 21 January after attempting to file a complaint with Alexandria's prosecutor-general regarding the absence of legal representation for dozens of people arrested during a protest held the previous day.

Mostafa was charged with physically attacking and verbally abusing a prosecutor while filing his complaint. Prosecutors in Alexandria's Sidi Gaber district subsequently referred Mostafa to a criminal court where he was sentenced to a two year jail term.

According to activist Mahinour El-Masry, a member of the campaign to free him and a witness to his arrest, the charges against the activist were fabricated.

"The ruling regime is acquitting Mubarak-era figures while detaining political activists," El-Masry said in a 12 April television interview.

Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak is currently being retried on charges of complicity in the killing of unarmed anti-regime protesters during the 18-day Tahrir Square uprising in early 2011. Last June, Mubarak received a lifetime prison sentence, but later appealed the verdict.

Mostafa was detained twice during the Mubarak era. He was accused of assaulting a policeman during a 2010 protest against police brutality; he was also arrested in a seminal workers' demonstration in 2008 in the industrial Nile Delta city of Mahalla. 

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