NCHR pledges to visit Shura Council defendants over ‘maltreatment’
Egypt's National Council for Human Rights.

CAIRO: The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) plans to visit defendants of the Shura Council case after it received reports of their maltreatment in prison, leading member of NCHR George Ishak Youm7 reported Tuesday.

The Democratic Current, a coalition of political parties, and other human rights lawyers have filed complaints of the same nature to the Attorney-General.

Al-Dostour Party condemned “assaulting and isolating Shura council defendants in solitary cells,” calling on the Attorney-General to investigate the “unjustified violations.”

The party also called on NCHR to “intervene rapidly” to transfer the defendants to another prison outside Cairo.

The Free Front for Peaceful Change condemned what it described as “violations and intransigence” towards jailed activists, especially those imprisoned over violating the 2013 protest law, Youm7 reported.

The front called on Presidency Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to pardon all those jailed over charges related to the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and its aftermath.

Recently, Cairo court sentenced two defendants in the retrial of the controversial Shura Council case to three years in prison and a 100,000 fine ($13,100.) In their first trial, they were sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison.

In the same case, the court sentenced the renowned activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah in February to five years in prison and fined him 100,000 EGP ($13,100) over charges of organizing the same protest outside the headquarters of the Shura Council in November 2013.

Abd el-Fattah and the other defendants were accused of violating the 2013 protest law and attacking a police officer, among other charges.

On June 17, Sisi pardoned 165 prisoners, including minors, convicted of breaching the 2013 protest law, according to a presidential statement.

In March, 68 were pardoned by Sisi, and 106 others were pardoned in April 2.

He also issued a decree to pardon more prisoners over two waves this month.

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