News / Middle East

Egyptian Activists Convicted Over 2012 Attack

FILE - Alaa Abdel Fattah arrives with his wife and child to the public prosecutor's office in Cairo, March 26, 2013. FILE - Alaa Abdel Fattah arrives with his wife and child to the public prosecutor's office in Cairo, March 26, 2013.
x
FILE - Alaa Abdel Fattah arrives with his wife and child to the public prosecutor's office in Cairo, March 26, 2013.
FILE - Alaa Abdel Fattah arrives with his wife and child to the public prosecutor's office in Cairo, March 26, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Twelve prominent Egyptian dissidents were given one-year suspended jail terms on Sunday in a case brought over an attack on the campaign headquarters of defeated presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik during the 2012 election.

The activists include siblings Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mona Seif, leading figures in the protest movement that triggered the 2011 uprising against autocrat Hosni Mubarak but is now facing a widening crackdown by the army-backed authorities.

Sunday's verdict related to an attack on Shafik's campaign headquarters ahead of the presidential run-off against the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi in the 2012 election.

The Cairo court convicted them of “displaying force” and setting fire to the building during the attack, charges they had denied.

“The ruling was political,” Mona Seif told Reuters TV after the verdict was announced. She said there was no evidence or witnesses to back up the ruling against the dozen defendants.

The case was brought earlier this year by a public prosecutor appointed by Morsi in what activists said at the time was an attempt by his administration to intimidate the pro-democracy movement.

Since the military overthrew Morsi in July, the army-backed authorities have launched a fierce crackdown on dissent that has mostly targeted Morsi's Islamist supporters but has recently widened to include members of the secular activist movement.

Alaa Abdel Fattah faces trial in a separate case on charges of breaking a new law that makes it a crime to protest without police permission. He has been in custody since Nov. 28.

The government escalated its efforts to suppress Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood last month by declaring it a terrorist organization, giving the authorities even wider scope to jail  its supporters.

In another case, a court on Dec. 22 handed three year prison sentences to three other leading activists over recent protests - a ruling that drew condemnation from Western governments and local and international rights groups.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid