State Council ruling allows imprisoned activist Alaa Abd El Fattah to receive books, letters
Courtesy: Mona Seif

Imprisoned political activist Alaa Abd El Fattah will be permitted to receive books, letters and published materials after an administrative court ruled on Tuesday against the Tora Prison authority’s practice of denying him reading materials, according to Hassan al-Azhary, a lawyer at the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).

Abd El Fattah has been serving a five-year sentence in the maximum security Tora Prison since February 2015, when he and 20 other defendants in the Shura Council case were given prison time and LE100,000 fines on charges of breaking the protest law.

The prison began routinely delaying the activist’s correspondences and denying him access to books and publications in December 2016 without any legal justification.

AFTE’s lawsuit demanded that Abd El Fattah be allowed to receive two daily newspapers on his own expense and to receive all letters sent to him on a regular basis. The lawsuit also requested that, should Abd El Fattah be denied any letters, books or publications, prison administration should be required to provide justification for the decision.

AFTE argued to the State Council that the prison organization law (Law 396/1956) and the Constitution grant prisoners the right to read and receive letters.

The Tora Prison administration had prevented all prisoners in block B from receiving books, except school books, after the first session of the lawsuit was held in February 2017, Abd El Fattah’s family told AFTE.


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