CAIRO - Prominent Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah, who was at the forefront of the 2011 uprising, will face trial for taking part in an unauthorised protest, his father said Monday.
CAIRO – Prominent Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah, who was at the forefront of the 2011 uprising, will face trial for taking part in an unauthorised protest, his father said Monday.
Ahmed Seif, who is also a lawyer, told AFP he will represent his son and 24 other pro-democracy activists charged with “holding an unauthorised demonstration and aggression against the police.”
“The prosecution informed us that he and the 24 others have been referred to the criminal court,” Seif said.
No date has yet bet set for the trial but it will be the second of its kind since Sunday when three other prominent secular activists went on trial following a restrictive new law on protests.
All of them were dissidents under former president Hosni Mubarak who was ousted in the 2011 uprising, and who had supported the military’s overthrow of his Islamist successor Mohamed Morsi.
These trials by the new military-installed government are seen as a widening of a crackdown on protests which had targeted only Islamists after Morsi’s ouster in July.
Abdel Fattah was arrested on November 28, two days after taking part in a Cairo protest against a provision in the draft constitution that allows military trials of civilians in certain cases.
The other 24 activists were released on bail last week.
Two days before the protest interim president Adly Mansour passed the new law allowing only police-sanctioned demonstration, a move that triggered an international outcry.
“I expected this trial and I think he (Abdel Fattah) will be sent to prison because this is what this regime wants. It wants to sentence revolutionary activists,” Seif said.
Abdel Fattah was previously jailed under Mubarak, the military junta that immediately ruled Egypt after his overthrow, and also under Morsi.
The trial that opened Sunday of Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel is the first of secular activists since Morsi was overthrown. A verdict in their case is expected on December 22.
The three activists are accused of several charges including assaulting police officers and joining a protest without seeking a police permit as required by the new law that was introduced after Egypt lifted a three-month state of emergency.
Both Maher, the founder of the April 6 youth movement that led the 2011 revolt against Mubarak, and Douma denied the accusations.
Their case has widened opposition to the military-installed government beyond the Islamist supporters of Morsi.
Since Morsi’s overthrow the authorities have arrested thousands of his supporters, including virtually the entire top leadership of his Muslim Brotherhood.