CAIRO: A total of 530 political activists signed an official statement Tuesday claiming that they are responsible for organizing, called for the anti-protest law demonstration at Ithadeya on June 21 and, expressed their full solidarity with the 24 detainees.
“We know that such a statement will not have any impact on the status quo,” one of the signatories of the joint statement activist Alaa Moustafa al-Sayed told The Cairo Post Tuesday. He described it as a mere “symbolic solidarity” with the protesters who were calling for the abolition of the protest law, which was issued by former President Adly Mansour in Nov. 2013.
The protest law prohibits any potential demonstrations without prior approval from the Ministry of Interior.
The statement was a result of the public prosecutor’s decision of renewing the detention period of 24 activists that were arrested Saturday on charges of violating the protest law, inciting chaos, and resisting authorities.
Three journalists were arrested during the march but were released afterwards, Alaa Abdel Fatah’s sister Mona Seif said on her Twitter account.
“We will continue our struggle to abolish the protest law and release all opinion prisoners,” the Revolution Front said in a Sunday statement.
Heliopolis prosecution accused the 24 protesters Sunday over charges of violating protest law, inciting chaos, damaging public and private entities, possessing weapons, explosives and “incendiary materials,” resisting authorities, and assaulting security forces. Their arrest was criticized by many activists and human rights organizations.
“All the charges against the detainees are based on fake invistigations prepared by the Ministry of Interior, especially the National Security Agency,” several human rights group said in a Monday statement, requesting that the charges of those accused be reduced to misdemeanors.
Over the past months, several political activists were sentenced to prison under the protest law. 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 on June 11 and fined 100,000 EGP ($13,980) while Masry was sentenced to two years and fined 50,000 EGP on May 20.