Alaa Abdel Fattah’s family released a statement Sunday night condemning the one year with lanour suspended sentence which was handed to the renowned activist, his sister Mona Seif, co-founder of the group No Military Trials for Civilians, 6 April activist Ahmed Abdalla and nine others for allegedly setting fire to the headquarters of former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq.
Famous activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah did not attend the trial for security reasons. On 28 November, he was arrested from his residence for calling for the No Military Trials for Civilians protest in front of the Shura Council on 26 November.
Mahmoud Belal, Vice President of the Legal Justice Unit and Lawyer at the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), clarified that according to the Egyptian law, there should be no appeals to Criminal Court verdicts unless it is through the Cassation Court. Belal added that the activists were sentenced for assembly.
“The trial is a sham and the sentence is obviously political; the sentence was handed to all the detainees even to those who were not present during the incident,” Belal said, adding that there was no evidence to confirm Seif’s presence in Dokki on that day and witnesses confirmed her presence Downtown.
The statement shed light on other cases that demonstrate “corruption in the justice system in Egypt,” but were not receiving enough media attention. Those include the cases of the Coffee Shop detainees (10 Al-Azhar students arrested from a coffee shop while discussing politics), Sherif Farag (architect detained since 24 November), Arafa Muawad (accused of storming the presidential palace and spent 11 months in detention) and Ahmed Mandour (held in preventive detention for being in a taxi that bumped into a military vehicle).