Police Release Protesters Detained For Demo In Support Of Jailed Egyptian Activist

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Lawyers and activists arrested in Alexandria on Thursday for holding a demonstration in solidarity with jailed activist Mahienour El-Masry were released late on the same day, according to the official Twitter account “Freedom for the Brave.”

Freedom for the Brave, a grassroots movement aiming for the release of political detainees in Egypt, quoted activist Mona Seif`s Facebook post which stated that “the interior ministry ordered the release of all those arrested in the demonstration that was organised in Alexandria.”

At least five persons – including Alexandria Doctors Syndicate board member Taher Mukhtar – were arrested during Thursday’s protest, according to Freedom for the Brave.

On Tuesday, an Alexandria court upheld an earlier verdict sentencing El-Masry and eight other activists to two years in jail and fines of LE50,000 each for organising an unauthorised demonstration in December of last year.

The protest was held to mark the retrial of police officers charged with the death of Khaled Said, 28, who was beaten to death in Alexandria in 2010. His death was a major catalyst of the 2011 uprising, with police brutality a focus of protesters’ anger.

Police on Thursday also raided the NGO office of the Egyptian Centre for Social and Economic Rights, which is directed by labour lawyer Khaled Ali, where a press conference in solidarity with El-Masry was held prior to the demonstration, said Freedom for the Brave.

Thursday’s arrests and raid are part of a wider crackdown on opposition figures launched shortly after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Originally targeting Morsi’s supporters and members of his Muslim Brotherhood, the campaign has since broadened to include secular activists and vocal opponents of Egypt’s interim authorities.

Source : Ahram online