Protest denounces detention of hunger-striking activists

Monday 25-08-2014 08:56 PM
Protest denounces detention of hunger-striking activists

Protest outside the Press Syndicate in support of imprisoned activists who are on a hunger strike, on August 25, 2014 - Emad Ahmed - Aswat Masriya


CAIRO, Aug 25 (Aswat Masriya) – Tens of protesters gathered outside the Press Syndicate in downtown Cairo on Monday condemning the ongoing detention of hunger-striking activists.

Monday marked the first anniversary of the detention of Egyptian-American citizen Mohamed Soltan, who has been on hunger-strike since January 25 in protest over his detention. Soltan was arrested while covering a protest held in support of former President Mohamed Mursi following his ouster in July 2013.

Activists had rallied for the protest on what they called a "global day of action" against the imprisonment of Soltan and other hunger striking detainees. Similar protests were also scheduled in different locations in the United States.

On Monday, jailed Alexandrian lawyer and activist Mahienour el-Massry also announced going on hunger strike in solidarity other detainees.

Massry was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 50,000 Egyptian pounds in May for violating Egypt's protest law in December. Her prison sentence was later reduced to six months.

Jailed political activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah announced last week going on hunger strike pending his release from jail. Abdel Fattah was arrested in June shortly after being convicted of violating the protest law, among other charges.

The law, issued by former interim President Adli Mansour in November to regulate peaceful assembly, has long been the epicentre of wide criticism by domestic and international human rights organisations which say it violates international standards for peaceful protests.

Hunger-strikes have lately become a common tool to protest detention, used by those arrested for political reasons.

Journalist Abdullah al-Shamy maintained a hunger strike for over 100 days before the country's top prosecutor ordered his release on medical grounds in June. Shamy, and 12 others, were arrested on August 14 during the dispersal of two sit-ins held in support of ousted President Mohamed Mursi. 

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