Court / Presiding Judge
First Review: Abdeen Misdemeanour Court/Judge Ameer Assem
Second Review: Qasr El-Nil Misdemeanour Appeal Court
Final Review: Court of Cassation/Judge Magdy Abdel-Halim
On December 22, 2013, the court issued its verdict upon first review. On April 7, 2014, the court issued its verdict upon second review. On January 27, 2015, the Court of Cassation affirmed the prior verdict.
Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel, and Ahmed Douma were initially sentenced to three years in jail and LE50,000 fines; they were also sentenced to three-year probation terms to begin after their jail sentences. Upon second review, the court upheld the verdict. The Court of Cassation upheld the verdict in a third and final review.
Summary of Reasoning
The case dates back to the clashes that occurred outside of the Abdeen courthouse when Maher went to turn himself in after receiving a summons following a demonstration outside the Shura Council on November 26, 2013, that was violently dispersed by security forces. The activists were charged with attacking the police and police property, using force against the police, and protesting in violation of the provisions of the Protest Law.
Defense lawyers reported that there were suspect pieces of evidence and issues of causality in the testimonies during the court proceedings. In January 2016, the men were sentenced in absentia to an additional six months for allegedly assaulting a police officer during their 2013 trial. Both Maher and Adel are currently reporting to the police station every night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. for a three-year probation term.
Legal & Judicial Implications
In addition to the questionable nature of the evidence furthered by the prosecution, this case represents yet another instance of a Protest Law prosecution brought against individuals partaking in peaceful activism, thus raising questions on the state’s commitment to protecting freedom of assembly and expression as mandated by both domestic and international human rights obligations. Beyond this trial, it is vital to regard the probation sentences that the defendants are serving as a compounded form of punishment. In its implementation, this probation deprives them of their right to movement, their ability to seek gainful employment, and their time with loved ones.