Prominent Egypt activist released on bail

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SHAFAQNA – Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah was released on bail on Monday, a defense lawyer told Agence France Presse. Abdel-Fattah’s retrial began last week after he was sentenced to 15 years jail this past June. He was accused of beating a police officer and stealing his walkie-talkie during protests last November. Mona Seif, Abdel-Fattah’s sister said on her Facebook page that her brother had been granted a bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($714) along with two other activists, the Associated Press reported.

Hunger strike widens

His mother, Laila Seif said she went on hunger strike after she lost faith in courts, ” I do not trust the judiciary…I am relying entirely on public opinion,” she told Reuters news agency. At least 65 people have joined in the hunger strike to express their disapproval of the country’s protest law which bans any gathering of more than 10 people. Abdel-Fattah became famous as a secular figure in the 2011 protests that ultimately led to the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak. However, even secular activists in Egypt have found themselves on the wrong side of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s regime. Al-Sisi overthrew former President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi last year. Since then, al-Sisi’s forces have rounded up thousands of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and secular activists. Hundreds have been sentenced to death in mass rulings, drawing criticism from the international community and human rights groups.

mg/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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