Prosecution releases activist on bail; lawyers claim detention illegal
April 6 Youth Movement Members - YOUM7(Archive)

CAIRO: Activist Mohamed Nassar, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement, was released on a 1,000 EGP ($139.84) bail, prosecution authorities decided Tuesday.

Nassar was arrested Monday morning while standing on Talaat Harb Street, near Tahrir Square, holding a poster in protest against the government’s decision to lift fuel subsidies.

Authorities considered the poster to be insulting to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi because Nassar called Sisi a liar for failing to fulfill his promises.

Multiple media sources reported that Qasr el-Nile prosecutor Yehia Mokhtar had received investigation reports convicting Nassar of insulting the president, illegal gathering, violating the 2013 Protest Law and obstructing roads.

Many human rights figures decried the detention.

“Nassar’s arrest, detention and bail are illegal and authorities should be held to account,” rights lawyer Tarek el-Awady wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday.

Sameh Samir, a lawyer at the Economic Center for Economic and Social Rights told The Cairo Post Tuesday that the bail is unjust because Nassar’s temporary detention violates the law.  “In case of insult to the president, the law does not require the detention of the suspect,” Samir said.

“The prosecution accused Nassar of other crimes to justify keeping Nassar in custody,” Samir added. “They accused him of illegal assembly and protest, but he was alone, so they claimed ‘incitement’ to protest.”

Article 179 of the Egyptian Penal Code states that “insulting the president” is a crime punishable by a jail sentence. However, Nassar’s defense lawyer Doaa Mostafa said this charge was leveled against Nassar later, after the investigations ended, Youm7 reported.

Activists confirmed on social media networks that Nassar was released Tuesday afternoon.

Additional reporting by Amer Mostafa.

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