Egypt activist sentenced to 5 years in retrial

Egypt activist sentenced to 5 years in retrial

[JURIST] An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah [Twitter feed; in Arabic] to five years in prison in a retrial on charges stemming from the 2011 uprising. Abdel-Fattah, a secular activist, was initially charged in November 2013 and later sentenced [JURIST report] to 15 years in prison under the country’s law criminalizing unauthorized protest. While Abdel-Fattah’s sentence was reduced on retrial, many supports have criticized [AP report] the court’s decision, claiming he should have been set free. Judge Hassan Farid also ordered that Abdel-Fattah and his co-defendants be subjected to police surveillance for a period of time after released from their prison sentences.

Political conflict in Egypt has been ongoing since the 2011 revolution [JURIST backgrounder] that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile]. Unrest led the Egyptian government to enact a law [JURIST report] banning unauthorized protests in November 2013. Since the law was passed, numerous demonstrators have been detained, especially those affiliated with ousted former president Mohammad Morsi [BBC backgrounder] and his Muslim Brotherhood party. Last week an Egyptian court sentenced [JURIST report] 230 protesters to life in prison, finding them guilty of taking part in violent clashes between protesters and security forces in Cairo in December 2011. Last month Egyptian security forces arrested [JURIST report] 516 Muslim Brotherhood supporters. The week before that an Egyptian court ordered a retrial [JURIST report] for 152 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced in a mass trial last year. In December an Egyptian criminal court sentenced 188 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death [JURIST report] for an August 2013 attack on a police station in the governorate of Giza, widely known as the “Kerdasa massacre.”