Egyptian activist freed after nearly two years without trial – .

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Egyptian activist freed after nearly two years without trial – .


Cairo (AFP)

Egyptian activist and journalist Esraa Abdel-Fattah, one of the symbols of the 2011 revolution, was released after nearly 22 months in pre-trial detention, lawyer Khaled Ali announced on Sunday.

Ali, along with friends of Abdel-Fattah, posted photos of his release online.

In 2008, Abdel-Fattah created a Facebook page “April 6” in support of the strikers and to call for political reforms, at the start of the mobilization of mass protests which would lead to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak three years later.

Abdel-Fattah, 43, was arrested in October 2019 for “spreading false news” and “collaborating with a terrorist group”.

Her detention has drawn international condemnation, with the United States calling her “scandalous”.

Abdel-Fattah, who had also been imprisoned previously under Mubarak, was released just hours after a surprise decision by the prosecution to release her.

She opposed the Muslim Brotherhood when they took power in Egypt in 2012 and supported the 2013 protests that led to the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Under Egyptian law, pre-trial detention can be extended for up to two years.

Saturday evening, the prosecution also decided to release the activist Abdel Nasser Ismail, leader of the Popular Alliance party, arrested in September 2019 for “participation in a terrorist group”, according to lawyers.

Egyptian journalist and opposition figure Gamal El-Gammal, arrested on his return from Turkey in February, has also been released.

The United States this week warned Egypt not to target rights activists, saying the problem would be a factor in selling arms to its ally.

Since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power in 2014, the former army chief has launched a broad crackdown on dissent.

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