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Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 03 - 06 - 2015

Prison protests
AROUND 50 journalists gathered on Monday in front of the downtown headquarters of the Press Syndicate to protest against prison sentences handed down to two activists and a journalist. On Sunday, an Alexandria court sentenced journalist Youssef Shaaban, activist and human rights lawyer Mahienour Al-Masri, and poet and activist Loay Al-Ahwagi to one year and three months in prison each on charges of storming the city's Al-Raml police station in 2013 during the tenure of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. On the stairs of the syndicate, peaceful protesters chanted revolutionary slogans, including “the voice of the revolution is the voice of Mahienour”. During the protest, Khaled Al-Balshi, editor-in-chief of the news website Al-Bedaya, where Shaaban works, described Sunday's court verdict as “restricting freedoms”, and stressed that violations against journalists had recently been on the rise.
TV presenter jailed
EGYPTIAN TV presenter Islam Al-Beheiri criticised a five-year jail sentence he was given on Saturday by Cairo Misdemeanors Court on charges of blasphemy linked to his controversial show on Islam. “The charges of blasphemy were strange as I had tackled heritage, not religion, on my show,” Al-Beheiri said in a phone interview with the private TV channel CBC on Monday. Up to 48 complaints have been filed against Al-Beheiri. In early April, Al-Azhar, the country's leading Sunni Islam institute, filed a complaint against Al-Beheiri's show with the Free Media Zone, the state department in charge of managing cable TV channel contracts. The ruling against Al-Beheiri can be appealed at the Cairo Court of Appeals.
Star's appeal rejected
THE JUDICIAL committee tasked with confiscating Muslim Brotherhood property on Sunday refused an appeal by retired football legend Mohamed Abu Treika regarding its decision to freeze the player's assets. The committee's Secretary-General Mohamed Abul-Fotouh announced the committee's decision to reject, for the second time, Abu Treika's appeal. On 8 May Abu Treika's assets were frozen after the committee announced the confiscation of properties belonging to the tourism company, Asshab Tours, which the former Ahly and national team star has shares in. The committee then announced that all of the player's bank accounts had been frozen. In a statement, the committee added that the manager of the tourism company was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and was detained pending trial, accused of committing “hostile acts against the state”. The statement added that the manager used company funds “to finance terrorist attacks”. It said the decision to seize the company was in compliance with a court decree demanding the confiscation of the company's properties and the assets of its owners. The Muslim Brotherhood is officially labelled by Egypt a terrorist organisation.

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