Egypt: iconic activist’s decade-long detention ends

Ahmed Douma

An attorney representing imprisoned Egyptian political activist Ahmed Douma took to social media Aug. 20 to announce the activist’s release, thanks to a presidential pardon. Douma had endured a decade of incarceration within Egyptian penitentiaries, and had five more years of his sentence to serve. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi apparently responded to repeated calls for his release by human rights organizations.

Douma was convicted of violating a ban on protests in December 2013, following Sisi’s military coup against democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi. Initially sentenced to 25 years in prison, he was re-sentenced to 15 years by the Cairo Criminal Court in 2019.

Douma had also been subject to state censorship during his imprisonment. In 2021, he managed to publish a poetry collection titled “Curly” from behind prison walls, through publishing house EL Maraya. However, agents of Egypt’s security services thwarted the dissemination of his collection and demanded a halt to its distribution.

Douma played a leading role in the January 25 Revolution of 2011, which led to the downfall of long-ruling president Hosni Mubarak. He is recognized as one of the founders of the April 6 Youth Movement, which orchestrated protests and civil opposition within the country.

From Jurist, Aug. 19. Used with permission.

See our last report on Ahmed Douma.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons