News / Middle East

Egyptian Activist, Barred from Court, Gets 15-Year Sentence

Egyptian pro-democracy activist Alla Abdel-Fattah was barred from the court session where he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for protesting a restrictive protest law, Cairo, June 11, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)
Egyptian pro-democracy activist Alla Abdel-Fattah was barred from the court session where he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for protesting a restrictive protest law, Cairo, June 11, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)
Elizabeth Arrott
An Egyptian court sentenced prominent activist Alla Abdel-Fattah and 24 others to 15 years in prison Wednesday, in a continuing government crackdown on dissent.
 
Abdel-Fattah and his colleagues were convicted of protesting a restrictive protest law passed last November - legislation human rights group have called repressive.  They were also charged with attacking a police officer and disturbing the peace.
 
The activist was tried in absentia after security forces barred him and two other defendants from attending the trial.  The three were arrested outside the court after the sentence was handed down.
 
Abdel-Fattah rose to prominence during the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak.  He has since been active in trying to bring an end to military trials of civilians and other civilian rights causes.
 
Wednesday’s sentences are the first against pro-democracy activists since the inauguration of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi Sunday.
 
Since his role in deposing Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Islamist Mohamed Morsi last year, el-Sissi has been seen as the driving force behind a crackdown on dissent.  The main target has been Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.  Egyptian courts have stunned human rights groups and others with mass death sentences given to hundreds of Brotherhood members.
 
In recent months, the crackdown has widened, with other government opponents increasingly the target of judicial action.
 
The anti-protest law Abdel-Fattah was convicted of violating requires advance police permission to hold rallies.
 
Demonstrations have been a key force in Egyptian politics since the 2011 revolution and used effectively by Sissi to justify his actions over the past year.

You May Like

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mohamed Mohsen from: egypt
June 11, 2014 4:29 PM
this sentence is not a real sentence, its a formality till they find the suspect and then A Retrial will be once caught or suspect gives up himself. As it is a defenceless case... is just a formality. please don't pick on us Egyptian.

by: Jarlsbane from: USA
June 11, 2014 10:43 AM
It would seem the US Gov. only supports democracy, when they agree with the outcome of the vote. Egypt being far from the 1st example. The Muslim Brotherhood came to power in a free & fair democratic election. It was removed, with US & Israeli backing, by a carefully orchestrated military coup. The vote that legitimized al Sisi was hardly free, fair, or democratic.
In Response

by: Hamza Hashem
June 11, 2014 11:32 AM
Do not forget the assistance of all of the Gulf states as well - they refused all aid to Egypt then the day he was removed they announced 2 billion in aid immediately.

by: Sensi
June 11, 2014 9:25 AM
Somehow that won't prevent the USA to sell helicopters to the renewed Egyptian military junta dictatorship, nor Israel sorry officials to congratulate the new dictator... That's another blatant example of our Western so-called "liberal democracies" nauseous hypocrisy in foreign policy, see also the Saudi Arabia dictatoship "ally" bankrolling most of the Sunni terrorism worldwide without our Western "free press" and politicians taking issue... Appalling.

by: Ed Miller
June 11, 2014 9:21 AM
Egypt is turning into a police state! Just as bad as many of the Muslim countries but in the opposite direction. The theme in these Islamic countries, as well as Israel, seems to be about holding onto power at all costs. And with all the killing and disregard for human life in that region, one can't really blame them.
In Response

by: Mohamed Mohsen from: egypt
June 11, 2014 4:33 PM
Sir, this case is void once they find suspect or he gives himself up, as the suspect is at large and this is a formality in the civil law system, there will be a real retrial.
thank you vey much

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs