Around 150 demonstrators gathered in Victoria, Alexandria, on Monday evening for a demonstration in solidarity with imprisoned activist Hassan Mustafa.
The crowd stood for about two hours chanting for the release of Mustafa, an end to President Mohamed Morsi’s regime and the police to be held accountable for their actions, according to Haitham Al-Hariri, a member of the Al-Dostour Party in Alexandria.
There was also a similar event in Beheira on Sunday, where activists bore signs calling for the release of Mustafa and all other detainees who had been unjustly arrested.
Mustafa was arrested on 21 January, accused of slapping a prosecutor in Al-Mansheya Court. He was sentenced to two years in prison on 12 March despite the testimony of two lawyers who bore witness that Mustafa had not attacked anyone.
One of the witnesses, Hamdy Khalaf, who is also serving as Mustafa’s lawyer, said that the verdict would be appealed.
“He didn’t do anything wrong at all,” Khalaf said. “I am hopeful that he will be released on 13 April.”
Al-Hariri was less optimistic that the demands of Monday’s sit-in would ever be met, acknowledging the difficulty of overturning a court ruling. However, he said demonstrators will continue to call for Mustafa’s release anyway.
“We want the police to know that when they arrest someone unfairly, we will not close our mouths,” Al-Hariri said. “We are asking for freedom even though we understand it will not happen.”
Since his arrest, Mustafa has gone on hunger strike twice in protest of his detention.
Additional reporting by Rana Muhammad Taha.