Egyptian blogger gets 15 years in clink

A prominent blogger, who was a key figure in Egypt’s 2011 uprising has been sentenced to 15 years jail for organising a demonstration online.

Alaa Abdel-Fatah has the honour of being arrested by each of Egypt’s five leaders since Mubarak. He was one of the activists most associated with the 2011 uprising that briefly ended 60 years of autocratic rule, and was sentenced to 15 years in jail for allegedly organising a protest.

According to Abdel-Fatah’s sister, Mona Seif, also a prominent campaigner, he and another activist were sentenced in absentia after being barred from entering the courtroom then arrested and taken to prison by some of the officials who had earlier blocked his entrance.

Seif wrote on Facebook that Abdel-Fatah was “waiting for the judge to give permission to the guards to allow them to enter the venue to attend their session, but instead someone from the prosecution went out and arrested them”.

The weird thing was that Abdel-Fatah had no role in the protest against military trials that he is accused of organising. It just seems that the military wanted him locked up.

In April more than 20 policemen raided Abd El-Fattah’s home, broke the door down, and proceeded to confiscate the family’s computers and mobile phones. When Alaa asked to see the arrest warrant, the police beat him and his wife up.

In prison there are several well-known revolutionary leaders including Mahienour el-Masry, who led protests against police violence in 2010 that set the stage for the 2011 uprising and Ahmed Maher, the co-founder of the 6 April youth movement who also inspired anti-Mubarak demonstrations

Abd El Fattah was jailed under Mubarak, the military junta that succeeded him, and Adly Mansour, the interim president installed after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi last summer. Under Morsi, Abd El Fattah escaped prison, but was placed under investigation.