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Egypt activist Alaa Abdelfattah calls on Egypt's judiciary to step down

Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah gives an interview at his home in Cairo on May 17, 2019 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah gives an interview at his home in Cairo on May 17, 2019 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egyptian activist Alaa Abdelfattah has accused Egypt's judiciary of subordination to the authorities and failing to issue independent rulings.

Alaa was arrested in September 2019 as part of a sweep of activists and political figures who were detained following Egyptian whistleblower Mohamed Ali's calls to protest.

He had only been out of prison for six months having previously served a five-year prison sentence for allegedly organising a protest without authorisation.

He made the comments on Monday at a court session to renew his detention in Tora Prison, reports Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

His sister, Mona Seif, tweeted what he said: "I have been imprisoned for 18 months. There are people who continue to be imprisoned here for more than two years and this is against the law."

According to Egyptian law, someone can only be held in pretrial detention for a maximum of two years, however, authorities regularly recycle political prisoners onto new cases when they reach the end of this time to prolong their detention.

READ: Egypt executes 16 people in one week

"The executive branch is circumventing the cancellation of my imprisonment and the court is prosecuting us instead of protecting us," Alaa continued.

"They implement what the executive branch wants and there is no explanation other than that the court and the prosecution are under pressure from the executive branch."

"If you are under pressure, resign, and if you are unable to resign, step down."

His sister said: "Every time a prisoner speaks the truth, they risk being subjected to more punishments or revenge. Think of them and always help relay their voice. #FreeAlaa."

Several people tweeted under the #FreeAlaa hashtag, quoting the activist's speech in the courtroom, and calling for their other sister's release.

Sanaa Seif was kidnapped outside the attorney general's office in June 2020 by state security officers after arriving to file a complaint after she and her family members were beaten outside Tora Prison.

The family were dragged by their hair and their clothes were torn by beltagaya, government-hired thugs, as police looked on and did nothing to help.

She was later sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for "spreading false news."

READ: #FreeSanaa campaign demands justice ahead of film editor's verdict

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