CAIRO (AFP) – An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the release on bail of Alaa Abdel Fattah, a prominent activist of the 2011 revolt against former president Hosni Mubarak, a defence lawyer told AFP.
Abdel Fattah was being retried after he was sentenced to 15 years in jail in an earlier trial on charges of assaulting a policeman during an illegal protest.
“The court ordered the release on bail of Alaa Abdel Fattah and two other detainees,” defence lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz said.
“The court also recused itself because of the defendants’ lack of respect for it,” he said.
Abdel Aziz said the court has “demanded an investigation into the prosecutor’s use of personal videos belonging to Abdel Fattah which violated the accused’s privacy”.
A file picture taken on August 28, shows Jailed Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah (C) waving after he was granted permission by authorities to attend the funeral of his father, prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif el-Islam, in Cairo – AFP
At a previous hearing of the retrial, the prosecutor showed personal videos of the activist which had no connection to the case, Abdel Aziz told AFP.
Abdel Fattah and 24 others were sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail on June 11 in an earlier trial presided over by the same judges who delivered Monday’s verdict.
On June 11, Abdel Fattah and two co-defendants were waiting outside the court and were denied entry when the verdict was announced. They were arrested immediately afterwards.
The authorities have relentlessly repressed all kinds of opposition – religious as well as secular – since the military ousted president Mohamed Morsi last July.
The crackdown on Morsi’s supporters has left at least 1,400 people dead and hundreds of his backers have also been sentenced to death after speedy trials. More than 15,000 others have been jailed.
The crackdown was initially restricted to pro-Morsi movements but was later expanded to target some youth movements which spearheaded the anti-Mubarak revolt. Dozens of activists from these groups have been sent to prison.