Court upholds 3-year sentence for activists Maher, Adel and Douma

The Court of Cassation upheld three-year sentences handed to Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel — both members of the April 6 Youth Movement – and activist Ahmed Douma for charges under the contentious Protest law.

An appeal had been filed by lawyers Khaled Ali, Nasser Amin and Tarek al-Awady.

The April 6 Youth Movement issued a statement on Tuesday denouncing the court’s decision to uphold the verdict against Maher, Adel and Douma. 

The movement’s general coordinator, Amr Ali, called what’s been happening since July 3, 2013 “clear revenge against the January 25 revolutions and its figures.”

“We’re living in a dark era when it comes to the Egyptian justice system,” he added, emphasizing that while “tens of thousands of opposition youths are detained by the regime, corrupt and tyrannical figures continue to enjoy their freedom.”

Ali blamed repressive laws for the imprisonment of those “who are paying the price for resisting an authoritarian regime resorting to suppression, arrests and murder.” 

He demanded that Egyptians fight the regime, “since the country will never have a future under its ruling,” and join the revolutionaries “rebelling against its fascism and tyranny.”

In December 2013, the Abdeen Misdemeanors Court found the three men guilty of attacking the police and police property, the use of force against police officers, and protesting in violation of the provisions of the Protest Law and Thuggery Law.

In his defense, Khaled Ali dismissed alleged causality in the witnesses’ testimonies, and said the charges contradict Article 73 of the constitution.

Awady told Mada Masr that the defense team argued there was corruption in some of the procedures surrounding the case. 

Amin, a member of the National Council for Human Rights, said the court did not provide any credible evidence against Douma, Adel and Maher, but still charged them anyway.

The charges relate to skirmishes that broke out outside the Abdeen courthouse at the end of November, when Maher went to turn himself in after receiving a summons following a demonstration outside the Shura Council on November 26, 2013, which was violently dispersed by security forces.

Meanwhile, the dilemma over protesters arrested in the wake of the January 25 anniversary continues. Halim Heneish, a lawyer at the Nadeem Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, said they still don’t know the whereabouts of many of those who have been detained.

“When we went to ask the prosecution, they told us they haven’t received any police reports about detainees,” he said.

This prompted several lawyers, including Malek Adly and Yasmin Hossam Eddin to file a complaint that the detainees have been kidnapped.

Heneish said there is no official number of those detained, but over the past few hours National Security has been interrogating them at Central Security Forces camps, adding that 25 have been released and 30 others remain in Tora prison camp.

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