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Implications for Rights and Freedoms

Maher, Adel, and Douma Protest Law Case

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

Procedural History

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.

Verdict

Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel, and Ahmed Douma were initially sentenced to three years in jail and an LE50,000 fine; they were also sentenced to a three-year probation term to begin after their jail sentence. The court of second review upheld the verdict. Thereafter, the Court of Cassation later upheld the final verdict.

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.

Anecdotal Notes

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.

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 January 25 revolutionaries, 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.