Assistant Secretary Posner: Free Alaa
  • Petitioned Dawn Heuschel

This petition was delivered to:

Egypt Desk Officer, USAID
Dawn Heuschel
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner
Assistant Secretary of Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Jeffrey D. Feltman

Assistant Secretary Posner: Free Alaa

    1. Petition by

      Better Life for Egypt

  1.  
  2.   
December 2011

Victory

Victory! Alaa was released from prison on Sunday, December 25, 2011.

As soon as Alaa was freed, he went straight to Tahrir Square and spoke, holding his 3 week old son Khaled, who was born while he was in prison. "We need to end military rule,” Abdel-Fattah said as reported by the Associated Press, moments after his release outside Cairo's police headquarters. “We cannot just celebrate my innocence. We know from the beginning I am not the one who killed people. We have not gone after the real criminals who killed people.”

Thousands of people like you have signed petitions and rallied for Alaa’s release from his unjust imprisonment. Alaa’s imprisonment occurred soon after he published a scathing criticism of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Al-Shorouk, an independent Egyptian newspaper, about the deaths of 28 peaceful protesters at the hands of the armed forces during a protest in Maspiro, Cairo, on October 9th. He was falsely charged with inciting violence during the protest and carrying army weapons. When detained by military prosecution, he refused to be questioned as a civilian and was imprisoned until, after much external pressure from activists including his family, his case was transferred to a civilian court. He has been released pending further investigations and is banned from travel; he will continue to fight for his acquittal from the charges.

“Do not rejoice in my release. The real victory is when the Military Police commander stands behind bars while being tried for killing protestors,” Alaa is quoted saying in Al-Shorouk.

Alaa is one of over 12,000 Egyptian civilians who have been tried by military courts in Egypt since SCAF took power after Mubarak’s ouster on February 11, 2011. His release gives us hope that the many other political prisoners like him may also be released. Together, we will continue to fight for them and with them for justice, and for a free, democratic, inclusive, civilian-led Egypt.

Click here to watch Alaa speak about his detention

Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prominent political activist in Egypt, joined thousands of peaceful protesters on Sunday, October 9, 2011 in a march to the Maspiro TV building in Cairo, Egypt. There, the Egyptian Army brutally attacked the protesters, killing at least 28 civilians and injuring at least 300. Protesters were deliberately crushed by Armored Personnel Carriers and killed by gunfire.  They were made up of Muslims and Christians protesting the burning of a church in Assyut, Egypt.

Alaa later published an opinion article about the protest in the Egyptian independent newspaper, AI-Shorouk, implicating the army in the deaths of the Maspiro protesters. Soon after, he was summoned for questioning by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and then arrested. Alaa was arrested five years before for his political activities –under Hosni Mubarak.

Writes Alaa from prison: “I am locked up, again pending trial, again on a set of loose and flimsy charges — the one difference is that instead of the state security prosecutor we have the military prosecutor — a change in keeping with the military moment we're living now." (The Guardian, November 2, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/02/egypt-revolution-back-mubarak-jails)

Under the rule of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), 12,000 Egyptians were sentenced to military court since last January. During Mubarak's rule, only 500 Egyptians were sentenced by military court. SCAF has renewed the hated Emergency Law that Egyptians protested during the January 25th Revolution, and heavy-handed censorship has brought upon the arrest of journalists and the storming of the offices of independent news media.

The US Department of State must use its influence on SCAF to release Alaa.  Every year, the US government gives $1.3 billion in public money to SCAF, and SCAF must be held accountable for its multiple abuses of the human rights of Egyptians.  

 

For more information:

New York Times

NPR

Huffington Post

The Guardian

Recent signatures

    News

    1. European Parliament calls for immediate release of Alaa

      Parliament calls for the immediate release of Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El-Fattah, and an end to military trials of civilians under Egypt's emergency law, in a resolution passed on Thursday.

    2. Prominent Egyptian blogger's detention extended

      Egypt’s military authorities must release a prominent blogger and vocal critic of military rule or immediately transfer him to a civilian court, Amnesty International said today after his detention was renewed.

      Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah's detention was extended by 15 days on Sunday, raising fears he may face a grossly unfair trial before a military court. He is facing charges of inciting violence against the armed forces, assaulting military personnel and stealing weaponry.

    3. Reached 1,500 signatures
    4. In Egypt, the stakes have risen

      The Egyptian revolution of 25 January, as we all know, had no leaders. But in the course of its unfolding, and in the months since, a number of people have emerged who are pushing it forward, advocating for it and articulating its principles. Alaa Abd El Fattah, the activist and blogger (and my nephew) who has been jailed by the military prosecutor in Cairo pending trial, is one of those. And in his character and the role he's adopted, he embodies some of the core aspects of the Egyptian revolution.

    5. Alaa's last video before being arrested by Egypt's military government

      Alaa describes the injustices imposed by Egypt's current military government, and explains why he decided to go back to Egypt when summoned by the military for questioning, instead of staying safely in the U.S.: "I personally carried the bodies of comrades who did not run away from bullets. I can't live with myself if I run away from something that is much more trivial."

    6. Reached 1,000 signatures
    7. Alaa's mother writes an open letter to SCAF.

      Alaa's mother has published an open letter to the Supreme Military Council about his arrest.

    8. Alaa blogs again from prison

      Alaa Abd El Fattah has written another blog from prison, translated to English in the below link.

    9. Reached 100 signatures
    10. Egyptians call for day of action to revive their 'stifled' revolution

      Egyptian activists have called for an international day of action to defend their country's revolution, as global opposition mounts towards the military junta.

    11. Reached 25 signatures
    12. Egyptian activists take to the streets over the arrest of Alaa AbdEl Fattah

      "On his way to the hearing on Sunday, Mr. Fattah told Reuters, “[The army] committed a massacre, a horrible crime, and now they are working on framing someone else for it.” He added, “Instead of launching a proper investigation, they are sending activists to trial for saying the plain truth, and that is that the army committed a crime in cold blood.”'

    13. Alaa writes a letter from jail

      'I never expected to repeat the experience of five years ago: after a revolution that deposed the tyrant, I go back to his jails?"

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