News / Middle East

Egypt Jails Leaders of 2011 Uprising

Political activists Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma (L) and Mohamed Adel (R) of the April 6 movement look on from behind bars in Abdeen court in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 22, 2013.
Political activists Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma (L) and Mohamed Adel (R) of the April 6 movement look on from behind bars in Abdeen court in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 22, 2013.
Reuters
Three leading Egyptian activists were sentenced to three years in prison each on Sunday in a case brought over their role in recent protests, escalating a crackdown on dissent by the army-backed government.
    
Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel are symbols of the protest movement that ignited the historic 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. Each one was also fined 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($7,200) by the court.
    
As the verdict was read, the courtroom erupted in chants of: "Down, down with military rule! We are in a state, not in a military camp!" The case stems from protests called in defiance of a law passed by the army-backed government in November that severely restricts the right to assembly.
    
Activists say the army-backed authorities, already pressing a fierce crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood movement of former President Mohamed Morsi, have in recent weeks started to target members of the secular activist movement.
    
That movement harnessed social media to touch off street protests unprecedented in Mubarak's 30-year rule. The veteran autocrat mostly stifled protests using a powerful security apparatus that has reasserted itself since Morsi's removal.
    
"It's very significant, it's not the first time we've seen Douma arrested and facing trial ... But we haven't see high profile activists actually sentenced to such a lengthy sentence," said Heba Morayef, Egypt director with Human Rights Watch.
    
The session, held at a police facility near a prison on the outskirts of Cairo, was attended by European diplomats.
    
The army deposed Morsi on July 3 after mass protests against his rule. Since then, the security forces have killed hundreds of his supporters and arrested thousands more.
    
In the past week, the office of the public prosecutor has ordered Morsi and other leading Islamists to stand trial in two separate cases on charges that include terrorism and conspiring with foreigners against Egypt.
    
The case against the activists relates to a protest that erupted outside the court where Maher turned himself into the authorities on Nov. 30, heeding a warrant for his arrest on accusations he organized a previous protest without permission.
    
The accused were charged with calling protests without permission and assaulting policemen.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More