Human Rights Commissioner Strässer on the upholding of Ahmed Said’s sentence in Egypt
Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on 27 January on the ruling against Ahmed Said by a court of appeal in Egypt:
Today, a Cairo court of appeal upheld the two-year prison sentence handed down to Egyptian doctor Ahmed Said. His is one of up to 40,000 cases of politically motivated imprisonment. I am most concerned about the further increase in reprisals against independent civil, cultural and religious institutions and activists over the past two weeks – all the more so against the backdrop of the 5th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution of 25 January 2011.
I call upon the Egyptian Government to grant all those who wish to exercise their right to freedom of expression and are working for an open and democratic Egypt the constitutional means of freedom of assembly and freedom to demonstrate rather than further curtailing the public space. This is the only way for Egypt to make sure all sections of the population can move towards stability and growth in the long run.
The two-year sentence handed down by a court of first instance was confirmed this afternoon in the presence of the defendants’ lawyers but not the defendants themselves. No reasons were given. The only remaining legal remedy is the protracted process of appealing on points of law to the court of cassation.
In November 2015, along with some 30 others, Ahmed Said had taken part in a peaceful rally to mark the anniversary of the 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud events on 6th October Bridge.