CAIRO: Women activists, politicians and protesters gathered in front of the Ithadeya presidential palace to call for the release of detained activists, and the abolition of the protest law, activists and journalists reported on social media on Monday.
The sit-in was triggered by outrage over a verdict issued Monday against three activists, Ahmed Doma, Ahmed Maher, and Mohamed Adel, rejecting their appeal and upholding a sentence of three years in jail for violating the protest law, among other related charges.
“On my way to the prison of Tora to make sure the decision if official, none of the lawyers was able to attend the session because it started earlier than scheduled. Heading after that to Ithadeya to sit-in there,” Nourhan Hefzy, Ahmed Doma’s wife, posted on her Facebook page.
Several women activists, politicians and public figures declared on social media their intention to participate in the sit-in, including Hala Shukrallah, president of the Dostour Party, Mona Seif, sister of activist and recently released prisoner Alaa Abdel Fattah, his activist mother Laila Sweif, Karima El-Hefnawy, leading member of the Egyptian Socialist Party, and Shahenda Maklad, a member of the National Council for Human Rights.
Doma has been receiving widespread attention from rights groups recently due to his deteriorating health condition, which activists are blaming on the authorities’ failure to provide him with medical assistance.
The April 6 Youth Movement and Freedom for the Brave movement also declared their support.
The sit-in was later postponed to April 10, for better organization and strategy, Hefzy said.
“The strike has been postponed for escalation, starting Thursday and continuing for a week, to include more public activities to bring down the protest law, and release those who were detained by the law,” Hefzy said on her Facebook page on Monday evening.
Meanwhile, the Dostour Party issued a statement condemning the verdict and the protest law, which they said “ contradicts the gains of the January 25 Revolution.”
The party called on Interim President Adly Mansour to release the three activists, in addition to other similar detainees imprisoned for political reasons.
The party further declared a press conference to be held on Tuesday at its headquarters, organized by the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Popular Current Party, and Freedom for the Brave movement.