An Egyptian court has suspended the jail sentence of activist Mahienour el-Massry, convicted for taking part in an illegal protest, her lawyer says
An Egyptian court has suspended the jail sentence of activist Mahienour el-Massry, convicted for taking part in an illegal protest, her lawyer says © Mohamed el-Shahed - AFP/File
An Egyptian court has suspended the jail sentence of activist Mahienour el-Massry, convicted for taking part in an illegal protest, her lawyer says
AFP
Last updated: September 21, 2014

Egypt court suspends top activist's jail sentence

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An Egyptian court Sunday suspended the jail sentence of prominent activist Mahienour el-Massry convicted for taking part in an illegal protest, paving the way for her release, her lawyer said.

An appeals court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in July had already cut Massry's initial two-year term to six months and a fine of 50,000 Egyptian pounds (about $7,000).

Defence lawyer Mohamed Hafez told AFP his team had asked for the six-month verdict to be suspended and for a review of her case.

Sunday's verdict was "the result of the mass campaign against the protest law ... and the verdict is an attempt by the ruling regime to boost its image abroad", he said.

While behind bars in June, Massry was awarded France's 2014 Ludovic Trarieux award for defending human rights.

Massry, a champion of women's rights, was also detained during the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak and his Islamist successor, Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the army in July last year.

She was again jailed in May for holding an unauthorised protest in Alexandria.

That protest was to express solidarity with Khaled Said, who was beaten to death in 2010 by policemen.

His death later became one of the sparks for Egypt's 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising.

Dozens of youth activists have been jailed for protesting illegally, after a controversial law banning all but police-sanctioned rallies was adopted in November.

Massry is the second prominent secular activist to be freed within a week.

A leading activist of the 2011 revolt, Alaa Abdel Fattah was released on bail on Monday during a retrial.

He is accused of assaulting a policeman and stealing his walkie-talkie during an unauthorised demonstration in Cairo in November, just days after the protest law was adopted.

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