Having endured incarceration since December, 19 Azhar students were each fined 100,000 LE (Egyptian Pounds) and sentenced to 5 years in prison. The trial of 55 co-defendants has been adjourned till March 17th, 2014.
News sources report that the students face ludicrous charges which include (retrospective accusations) of allegedly belonging to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, disrupting traffic, resisting the authorities & protesting without permit.
Furthermore,they were also accused of belonging to an armed terrorist group whose purpose is to threaten national peace and security and vandalize public and private property.
Based on interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi's personal intervention and approval, Monday also witnessed the immediate return of police forces at universities, under the pretext of "maintaining peace and security on campus".
IACPDA maintains that the above illegitimate detentions and sentences are in direct contravention to internationally recognized standards of human rights and a further indictment of the current junta's atrocious abuses.
Alaa Mohamed, IACPDA board member pointed out the unfortunately characteristic nature of this case, quoting Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch MENA director as previously saying: "The Ministry of Interior's pursuit of these activist is a deliberate effort to target the voices who, since January 2011, have consistently demanded justice and security agency reform" This case is no different.
IACPDA calls upon all citizens of conscience to join us in condemning these contraventions; to demand the withdrawal of current draconian security measures and the immediate release of all those unjustly detained.
Note to Editors:
IACPDA is an inclusive apolitical, non-partisan, non-religious global umbrella body opposed to military rule and dedicated to the restoration of democracy