#AceNewsServices – EGYPT (Cairo) – June 13 – A prominent Egyptian blogger and activist in the 2011 overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for rallying against an anti-protest law, in what critics charge is evidence that the country’s counter-revolution is in full effect.
Alaa Abd El-Fattah and 24 other people were handed 15 years in prison, five years’ surveillance, and a hefty fine for allegedly holding a protest at Egypt’s parliament—the Shura Council—last November in opposition to a stringent anti-protest law and enshrinement of military trials for civilians in the country’s 2014 constitution, independent Egyptian publication Mada Masr reports. The defendants were hit with a litany of accusations, from unauthorized protests to destruction of public property to attacking police, according to the Egyptian state-run publication Ahram.
Their supporters say the charges were political maneuvers aimed at further criminalizing dissent and intimidating protesters.
Abd El-Fattah and defendants Mohamed Noubi and Wael Metwally were barred from entering the courtroom and therefore sentenced in absentia on Wednesday. Mona Seif, Abd El-Fattah’s sister who is also a prominent activist, stated on Facebook that her brother was “waiting for the judge to give permission to the guards to allow them to enter the venue to attend their session, but someone from the prosecution went out and arrested them.”