[JURIST] A Cairo court on Sunday ordered the release on bail of blogger and activist, Alaa Abdel Fattah, who was imprisoned by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in October 2011 for violating Egypt’s controversial protest law and refusing to answer prosecutors’ questions. The SCAF accuses [NPR report] Abdel Fatah of inciting violence during protests in October, in which 27 people were killed and 300 people were injured. Abdel Fatah is currently on trial with 24 co-defendants, all of whom are charged with organizing public protests without prior government approval, destroying public property and assaulting members of the police. Abdel Fatah is reportedly known throughout Egypt for his criticism of the nation’s shifting regimes. He was imprisoned once during the rule of Hosni Mubarak in 2006, and again during military rule in 2011. Reports indicate that Abdel Fatah’s release on bail does not mean he has avoided conviction and sentencing for his alleged crimes.
Political conflict in Egypt has been ongoing since the 2011 revolution [JURIST backgrounder] that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak from power. Conflict has recently occurred between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the former government of Muhammed Morsi, and supporters of the new government in place since his ouster in July, especially since the organization’s formal ban [JURIST reports] in September. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) voiced concern [JURIST report] about human rights violations in Egypt in November 2011, specifically with respect to the military trial and jailing of a blogger/activist” Abdel Fatah.