Alaa Abd El-Fatah released

Johannesburg

Alaa has finally be released after 45 days in prison. We heard the good news from Manal earlier this week. Here is a news report from the The Independent published on 21 June 2006.
Alaa has finally be released after 45 days in prison. We heard the good news from Manal earlier this week. Here is a news report from the The Independent published on 21 June 2006.


The Independent (co.uk)


Egypt releases blogger jailed for 45 days after ‘insulting’ President By


Jeff Black in Cairo Published: 21 June 2006


Egyptian authorities have ordered the release of an award-winning blogger


and activist, imprisoned 45 days ago on charges including insulting the


President.


Alaa Seif al-Islam, 24, who was arrested at a pro-reform demonstration on


7 May, had drawn the ire of the authorities for his provocative weblog and


taking part in banned street protests. He is expected to be released from


the Tora prison in Cairo today.


The release comes after a turbulent period of protest and violence in


Egypt. Practically all groups opposed to President Hosni Mubarak,


including the Muslim Brotherhood and secular groups such as Kifaya!


(Enough!) and Youth for Change have had members beaten. Hundreds have been


arrested.


Alaa’s wife, Manal, with whom he runs the website Manalaa.net, which won


an award from the media freedom group Reporters Without Borders, said


after the decision: "There’s no going back now, we’ll definitely be


continuing our activities."


Opposition groups have rallied around two judges on trial after making


allegations about election fraud. Since April, 48 activists associated


with Kifaya! and Youth for Change have been detained. Allegations of


sexual assault and torture have been made by prisoners. In particular, the


case of Mohammed al-Sharqawi, a Youth for Change member, who was


reportedly sexually assaulted while in custody, continues to cause rights


groups concern.


Alaa Seif al-Islam has risen to prominence as part of a new generation of


secular activists that, while lacking a specific political programme, are


in essence anti-authoritarian. The nephew of the author Ahdaf Soueif and


the son of veteran campaigners Dr Layla Soueif and Ahmed Seif, Alaa has


the dissident pedigree. However, he is a relative latecomer to street


protests. " After May 2005, when I was beaten up by police, it was then


that Alaa became an activist. Before that he didn’t get personally


involved," said his mother, Layla, a mathematics professor at Cairo


University.


Supporters highlight Alaa’s importance in pushing the boundaries for


political dissent through the internet. Nora Younis, a fellow blogger and


activist, said: "He raises the ceiling of what is possible. After others


were arrested on charges of ‘insulting the President’, he arranged a


petition on his site that said ‘we, the undersigned, insult the President’


- to be given to the Public Prosecutor."


Officials at the Ministry of the Interior were not available for comment


on the release, but analysts suggested that it did not signify a relaxing


of the government’s strict stance.


http://www.independent.co.uk//eceRedirect?articleId=1093520&pubId=55

http://www.manalaa.net/


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