Rights organizations condemn ‘fabricating charges’ against protesters, activists
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CAIRO: Several rights organizations condemned the renewed detention period of 23 activists arrested Saturday on charges of violating the protest law, inciting chaos, and resisting authorities.

“Prosecutors automatically press charges against peaceful protesters without conducting serious investigations,” a Monday statement said, also calling for the abolition of the law, which prohibits any potitional demonstrations without prior approval by security forces.

The statement was signed by several human rights organizations including  the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), ‎National Community for Human Rights and Law, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and Al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and others.

The statement further denounced the arrest of  the human rights researcher Yara Sallam and others while they were standing near a demonstration.

Heliopolis prosecution accused the 23 protesters Sunday over several charges during a Saturday protest at Ithadeya. Their arrest was criticized by many activists and human rights organizations.

Seven of those detained are women, and the most prominent is Sanaa Abdel Fatah, sister of activist Alaa Abdel Fatah, who is detained for illegally protesting in front of the Shura Council headquarters against the protest law.

“All the charges against the detainees are based on fake invistigations prepared by the Ministry of Interior, especially the National Security Agency,” the organizations said, requesting that the charges of those accused be reduced to misdemeanors.

During the past few weeks, the court sentenced two prominent activists Alaa Abdel Fatah and Mahienour al-Masry to varying prison sentences after they participated in peaceful protests.

Abdel Fatah was sentenced to 15 years in absentia June 11 and fined 100,000 EGP ($13,980) while Masry was sentenced to two years and fined 50,000 EGP May 20.

Three April 6 Movement members were sentenced to three years in jail and fined 50,000 EGP for orchestrating illegal protests and assaulting police officers in November 2013 in front of Abdeen Misdemeanors Court.

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