The public prosecution has summoned activist Sanaa Seif for questioning on April 27 in a case related to inciting public protests.
On Thursday, Seif wrote a Facebook statement claiming that activist Yasser al-Qott was arrested on April 19 in the Cairo neighborhood of Moqattam and charged with spreading publications calling for protests on April 25. Prosecutors have detained Qott for four days pending investigations, and Seif’s name appears in the case against him, she said.
The April 25 demonstrations would be the second mass protest against a new maritime border agreement that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed earlier this month with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, which granted sovereignty over the Red Sea islands Sanafir and Tiran to Saudi Arabia.
The first protest drew around 1,500 people in downtown Cairo last Friday until it was dispersed by security forces firing tear gas into the crowd, while hundreds more protested in governorates across the country. The Association for Freedom and Expression (AFTE) estimates that at least 98 protesters face charges stemming from the Friday of the Land protests, while the legal status of 21 others still in custody remains unclear.
When Seif initially heard that her name was involved in the case against Qott, she went to the prosecution and asked if there was a case against her, she wrote in her Facebook statement. They told her there was not. But when she returned to the prosecution’s office the following day, she found that her name was indeed listed in the case and that she would be summoned for investigations.
Seif said she was not sure of the exact charges against her.
“All I know is that Yasser and I were involved in a case before this, and they imprisoned us for a year and three months, and if the Interior Ministry wishes to lie again, there is no one who can stop it. #FreeYasseral-Qott,” she wrote.
Seif was released from prison in September 2015 after Sisi pardoned her along with 100 other prisoners on Eid. She, Qott and 22 others were arrested in June 2014 during a peaceful march outside the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace to protest her brother Alaa Abd El Fattah’s imprisonment.
Seif and her co-defendants were initially sentenced to three years in prison on charges of unauthorized protest, violating the protest law, inciting unrest, the destruction of private and public property, the possession of weapons and explosives, resisting authorities and assaulting security forces. The sentence was then lowered to two years before Sisi ultimately granted his pardon.