Saturday,18 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1284, (25 February - 2 March 2016))
Saturday,18 August, 2018
Issue 1284, (25 February - 2 March 2016))

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Protesters acquitted

QASR AL-NIL Criminal Court on Tuesday acquitted 11 people on charges of illegally protesting and blocking traffic on the fourth anniversary of the deadly Mohamed Mahmoud clashes.

Cairo prosecution referred the demonstrators to the Court of Misdemeanors after they were arrested on 6 October Bridge in November last year for protesting without government approval. The prosecution accused the defendants of protesting without authorisation, illegal assembly and blocking traffic.

Egypt’s Protest Law, passed in November 2013, gives jail sentences of one to three years and issues fines for those participating in unauthorised protests.

Officers jailed

PROSECUTOR-GENERAL Nabil Sadek on Sunday ordered seven policemen from the self-proclaimed “Coalition of Low-ranking Police Officers” jailed for 15 days pending an investigation.

The prosecution accused the policemen of inciting strikes at their work place, organising illegal protests and belonging to a group whose target is to impact the work of Egyptian police.

Local media reported that the policemen were also accused of possessing drugs, including hashish, and unlicenced weapons.

In response to their arrest, the official Facebook page of low-ranking policemen, called “Omanaa Masr”, released a statement condemning the arrests and described the action as a “despicable game that should be practiced by the national security forces against Muslim Brotherhood members, not with them”. It also said that the group will “reveal corruption at any cost’’. Following the statement, the Interior Ministry shut the page down.

In the wake of the arrest, many police officers in the lower ranks in the governorate of Sharqiya staged a protest in front of the security directorate in solidarity with the officers, demanding their immediate release.

Suspend writer’s sentence

THE PRESS Syndicate this week called for the prosecutor-general to suspend a prison sentence handed down to journalist and writer Ahmed Nagi for publishing a “sexually flagrant article” in the state-owned cultural newspaper Akhbar Al-Adab last year.

On Saturday, a Cairo misdemeanor appeals court sentenced Nagi to two years in prison.

The court also fined Tareq Al-Taher, Akhbar Al-Adab’s editor-in-chief, LE10,000.

In its official request to Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadik, the syndicate said the court verdict “violates constitutional articles banning imprisonment for publishing-related cases”.

The syndicate called for the suspension of the sentence until the Court of Cassation issues a final verdict in the case.

The verdict came after the prosecution appealed the court order on 2 January to clear the two defendants of all charges.

Against Uber and Careem

DOZENS of Cairo taxi drivers protested against popular taxi-service operators Uber and Careem, repeating calls for the authorities to shut them down.

At Mustafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandessin on Thursday evening, the drivers chanted “Where are our rights?” and held banners urging the Ministry of Interior, which regulates licences for taxis, to support their side.

Traffic was blocked on Gamet Al-Dowal Al-Arabia, a main street in the upper-middle-class area, for several hours.

Over the past two weeks, Cairo’s taxi drivers have escalated their criticism of Uber and Careem, arguing that the companies are putting traditional metre taxis out of business.

Editor released

THE DEPUTY editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Al-Mesryoon left jail following a decision issued by prosecution authorities last week.

Abdel-Rahman Mohamed was released Sunday, nearly five days after the prosecution order, and after spending more than three months in jail, according to Al-Bedaiah website.

Mohamed was arrested in Qalyubia at dawn of November last year in a security raid on his home, during which his laptop was confiscated. He was accused of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Mohamed has led the coverage of political Islam issues in Al-Mesryoon since its founding in 2005. He was critical of the leadership of both President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and former president Mohamed Morsi.

Mohamed’s arrest coincided with the arrest of journalist Sobhi Shoaib following a raid on his home in Gharbeya.

Boy, four, sentenced to death

Ahmed Mansour Kerni received the death penalty after being convicted in absentia of offences that allegedly occurred during a demonstration two years ago — even though he was two years old at the time.

Armed Forces spokesman Ahmed Samir said another person with the same name, Ahmed Mansour Kerni, 16, had been recounting on his official Facebook page the chronological events in the case. The teenager was accused of murder, disturbing the peace and damaging state property in an indictment that listed 116 other defendants who were sentenced to life.

According to the indictment, details of the charges include four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, vandalising property belonging to the Egyptian Health Administration in his hometown of Al-Fayoum Governorate, threatening soldiers and police officers, and damaging vehicles belonging to security forces.

“According to Egyptian law, no one can press charges against a child under 12, so I believe what happened was a mistake,” said Ahmed Meselhi, head of the Children’s Defence Network at the Lawyers Syndicate.

Ahmed Mansour Kerni, the child, is only four years old.

Meselhi said the officials responsible for the investigation should be questioned.

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