CAIRO (MEMO) – Ten human rights organizations have demanded Egypt immediately release blogger and activist Ahmed Douma, one of the founders of the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, as he has no judicial avenues to take to end his detention.
Douma has been held for eight years arbitrarily, a statement by the organizations said. He is also denied educational human rights because of his political activities and persistence in pursuing democracy, they added.
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Belady Foundation- Island of Humanity, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Committee for Justice, Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, Egyptian Front for Human Rights, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), the Freedom Initiative and the Nadeem Center against Violence and Torture were all signatories to the letter.
In December 2013, Security forces arrested Douma for being around Abdeen Court during a demonstration against the Egyptian protest law. Douma, Ahmed Maher, and Mohamed Adel were sentenced to three years imprisonment and subject to police observation for another three years.
He was later handed a life term and fined 17 million Egyptian pounds ($1.08 million) in “an unfair trial”. An appeals court later reduced the sentence to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of six million Egyptian pounds ($382,000).
The rights bodies said the trials were unfair and lacked impartiality.
He is now being held in the notorious Tora Prison and his health has suffered as a result of being held in solitary, in a small cell with inadequate ventilation, he has not been given a bed to sleep on and is not allowed out of the cell to exercise.
In another development, dozens of Egyptian journalists who have applied for membership in their professional union have been rejected without a reason, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported.
At the same time, several employees of newspapers but working different jobs, such as secretaries, were accepted into the union by recommendation from their editors in chief, the news site added.
In 2016 security forces arrested leading members of the union which was described as “unprecedented” in its history.