Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: EU's Catherine Ashton Concerned With Sentencing of Activists in Egypt

Photo: Ahmed Douma
Ahmed Douma was one of the three activists convicted of rioting and assaulting police.

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, has expressed concern about the sentencing of three activists to three years in prison in Egypt.

"The High Representative is concerned about the guilty verdict, the prison sentences and the financial penalty handed down by a court in Egypt against political activists Ahmed Maher, a founder of the April 6 Movement, Ahmed Douma and Mohammed Adel," said a statement by Ashton's spokesperson on Monday.

An Egyptian court sentenced activists Maher, Douma and Adel to three years in prison on Sunday for protests that took place earlier this month and fined them 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($7,200) each.

A law passed recently obliges Egyptians to inform the authorities of their intention to protest three days prior to their demonstration to obtain a permit.

Ashton's spokesperson said that the High Representative hopes that the sentences will be reviewed.

"The High Representative also expressed concern at the recent raid on the offices of the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights," the statement added.

Egyptian authorities stormed the headquarters of the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights in Central Cairo last on Wednesday, arresting five people.

"The High Representative reaffirmed the European Union's support for a sustainable democracy that meets the aspirations of the Egyptian people and its readiness to cooperate with Egyptians to see their transition succeed."

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Egyptian Court Jails Three Prominent Activists

Ahmed Douma was one of the three activists convicted of rioting and assaulting police.

Three leading figures of the 2011 uprising against president Hosni Mubarak have been sentenced to three years in jail for allegedly violating the country's new protest law. Read more »