Leading Egyptian Activists Arrested for Involvement in Recent Protests

Ahmed Douma, Mohammed Adel, and Ahmed Maher, who played instrumental roles in organizing and executing the January 2011 revolution as part of the April 6 Youth Movement, were convicted by an Egyptian court of incitement and sentenced to three years in prison.  Douma, Adel, and Maher were the first to be found guilty in violation of the controversial Protest Law, and were also handed a fine of 50,000 EGP.  Maher and Adel are both prominent members of the April 6 Youth Movement. Douma had previously received a six-month sentence from the Morsi regime for defamation, although this sentence was later suspended.

International organizations and local pro-revolution groups have expressed their concern about the recent crackdowns on activists and called for demonstrations to denounce the sentencing. The European Union (E.U.) released a statement urging Egyptian authorities to reconsider the jail sentence, while a spokesman for E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton criticized the Protest and Assembly Law, stating that it is “widely seen as limiting excessively freedom of expression and assembly.” The April 6 Youth Movement, which had previously issued an endorsement for the military-sponsored “transitional roadmap,” withdrew its support due to the “oppressive tactics adopted by interim authorities.”