A prominent Egyptian human rights official; Ahmad Mufreh, has criticised the Sidi Gaber Misdemeanour Court of Appeal’s decision to issue a one year suspended sentence against 14 members of the 7 AM Movement. Mufreh said the decision undermines freedom of expression and freedom to assembly in the country and sends a message that the girls’ decision to practice their right to peaceful protest is a crime they should avoid or face imprisonment.
Mufreh, who is the director of Al Karameh Human Rights Organization in Cairo said: “Repressive states cannot blackmail and undermine people’s fundamental rights including the right to demonstrate. They cannot threaten people with imprisonment if they practiced their most basic rights. The Court did not take into consideration the violations committed against the detainees inside the detention facilities and during their arrest, while the prosecution did not investigate in them”.
Mufreh pointed out that the Court’s decision to acquit the seven minor detainees does not mean that it should remain silent about the ill-treatment inflicted upon them while in detention, which amounts to torture.”