Egyptian court bails leading leftwing activist

Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah speaks during a TV interview at his house in Cairo. (File photo: AFP)

An Egyptian court released on bail Sunday leading leftwing activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, in the opening session of his trial on charges of participating in an illegal and violent protest.

Abdel Fattah, a prominent youth leader of the 2011 uprising that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak, was arrested last November for taking part in a protest against widened military powers under the new army-appointed regime.

His trial was set to begin as another court resumes the trial of Mursi, ousted by the military in July, on charges of involvement in the killing of opposition activists during his single year in power.

The authorities have banned all but police-sanctioned protests and arrested thousands of activists, mostly Islamists, in Egypt's most extensive crackdown on opposition in decades.

More than 2,000 people have been put on trial, including Mursi and the leadership of his Muslim Brotherhood movement, as well as secular activists such as Fattah who supported the Islamist's overthrow.

More than 1,400 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in street clashes since Mursi's removal, rights group Amnesty International says.

Three prominent secular activists who spearheaded the early 2011 uprising that overthrew Mubarak have already been sentenced to three years in prison for joining unsanctioned protests last year.

Mubarak himself is on trial for allegedly inciting the killings of protesters during the uprising. A court had sentenced him to life in prison but he won a retrial.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43