Dentistry student Asmaa Hamdy’s appeal to halt a five-year prison sentence against her was rejected on Wednesday, said ‘Freedom for the Brave’, which is an initiative that provides support for detainees.
According to the ‘Azhar Students Against the Coup’ movement, the prison administration was “intransigent” and prohibited the detainees from attending their appeal session “under the pretext of not having notified the administration of the session’s time”.
Hamdy and four other female colleagues, Rufaida Ibrahim, Henady Ahmed, Alaa El-Sayed and Afaf Ahmed, have been in prison for approximately the past year and a half.
There is little more that can be done legally speaking, said ‘Students Against the Coup’ spokesperson, Youssef Salahin. “The girls will have to spend the next five years in prison.”
“These five girls have been in prison for the past year while Gamal Mubarak gets to visit the Pyramids,” Salahin said.
Hamdy is a third-year student at Al-Azhar University. She was arrested on campus along with four more students in December 2013. They spent their first months in a police station, then Al-Qanater prison, and later Damanhour prison.
In February 2014 she was convicted of “preventing other students from attending exams”, and assaulting and taking EGP 200 from a police officer, among other charges.
In May 2014, Hamdy began a crochet project entitled “Made in Prison” after teaching herself to crochet with the help of other political detainees at Al-Qanater Prison.
Last November, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression released a statement condemning the harsh sentences against students in light of increases in violations, including arbitrary arrests, on-campuses and in student housings.