Thursday 23 November 2017

Egypt jails activist for five years

Egypt's most prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has been sentenced to five years in prison (AP)
Egypt's most prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has been sentenced to five years in prison (AP)

A court in Egypt has sentenced a leading figure in its 2011 revolt to five years in prison following a retrial.

Well-known activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah faced a retrial after he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for taking part in an unauthorised protest and allegedly assaulting a police officer.

The courtroom in Cairo erupted after the verdict, with some shouting: "Down with oppression!"

Abdel-Fattah is a prominent blogger who has been a vocal government critic.

The charges against him stem largely from a law prohibiting protests in Egypt without prior government permission, a measure which followed the military coup which ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013. Activists and rights groups have criticised the law as a way to stop all dissent.

Abdel-Fattah previously said his trial, which included 19 other defendants and five people being tried in absentia, was a farce. He has been on hunger strike.

A robbery charge Abdel-Fattah faced was dropped.

Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, another defendant on trial with him, also received a five-year sentence, while the others received three-year sentences.

Press Association

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