Court ruling gives detained activist @Alaa Abdel-Fattah right to vote

Hatem Maher, Sunday 11 Dec 2011

An Egyptian court rules that detained activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has the right to vote in ongoing parliamentary elections

Alaa Abdel-Fattah
Activist and blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah (Photo: Ahram archives)

The Egyptian Administrative Court ruled Saturday that detained blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah should be permitted to vote in the second phase of the ongoing parliamentary elections.

Abdel-Fattah, who is remanded in custody on several charges, including inciting violence against the military in October’s infamous Maspero clashes, filed a lawsuit demanding that the Interior Ministry allow him to cast his vote in the People Assembly’s elections.

The court ruled in his favour on the grounds that “he did not commit a crime involving moral turpitude”.

The Supreme Elections Committee said it had nothing to do with the verdict, adding that the public prosecution is the party entitled to decide whether to implement the ruling or not.

Abdel-Fattah’s arrest sparked an outcry among activists, who have launched a campaign against military trials for civilians. His case was later referred to a State Security Emergency Court.

The 30-year-old, whose wife gave birth to a baby boy last week, was detained in the wake of deadly clashes between the Egyptian army and Coptic Christians in front of the State TV premises on 9 October.

Charges leveled against him included the theft of military arms, destroying military property, and inciting violence against military personnel.

The first elections since former autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak left office started last month, marking the first of three complicated stages that will end in January 2012.

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