Egypt rejects activists’ last appeal over illegal protest
The protest was held only days after the authorities issued a controversial law banning all but police sanctioned protests
Egypt’s cassation court rejected Tuesday an appeal by three secular activists who had spearheaded 2011 protests against ex-strongman Hosni Mubarak, upholding a three-year prison sentence over an illegal protest.
April 6 youth movement founder Ahmed Maher, group spokesman Mohamed Adel and renowned blogger Ahmed Douma were arrested for a protest that ended in scuffles outside a Cairo court in November 2013.
They were sentenced the following month to three years and fined 50,000 Egyptian pounds (about $ 6,700/ 5,900 euros). An appeals court upheld the verdict last April.
Tuesday’s ruling was their final opportunity to appeal in court. Their only remaining option would be a presidential pardon.
The protest was held only days after the authorities issued a controversial law banning all but police sanctioned protests.
The law is one of several measures adopted to quell unrest following the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Morsi’s overthrow was followed by a crackdown on his Islamist supporters, leaving hundreds dead and thousands jailed.
The crackdown has extended to secular activists who supported Morsi’s overthrow but turned against the new government over its heavy handedness.