Released 0900 GMT, 25 October 2014
The Egyptian authorities must release a group of activists on trial for defying the country’s draconian protest law, Amnesty International said ahead of Sunday’s verdict in their trial for taking part in an unauthorized protest.
Prominent human rights defender Yara Sallam and well-known activist Sanaa Seif are among 22 people charged with taking part in an unauthorized protest aimed at threatening “public peace”, among other spurious charges, despite the fact that Yara Sallam did not even participate in the protest. If convicted the activists could face up to five years in prison.
“This show trial, based on highly questionable evidence, is the latest example of the Egyptian authorities’ determination to quash peaceful protest and stifle any form of dissent,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.