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Imprisoned activist a 'clear message' from gov't, says rights group
Published in Daily News Egypt on 23 - 07 - 2010

CAIRO: A three-month prison sentence issued against an activist accused of assaulting police officers during a demonstration, has been condemned as a “clear message from the persistent Egyptian government”.
The Qasr El-Nil Misdemeanours Court found 21-year-old Ahmed Abu Doma guilty on May 22, 2010 of assaulting police officers and sentenced him to six months imprisonment.
According to lawyer Ahmed Ezzet, the court found that Abu Doma had assaulted 16 policemen during a protest held on May 3, 2010 in downtown Cairo against the state of emergency and police violence.
During the demonstration riot police charged when protestors attempted to force their way through the police barricade in order to march to parliament. They physically attacked protestors, leading to clashes. A number of arrests were made during the protest.
On July 21 the Qasr El-Nil Misdemeanours Appeals Court upheld Abu Doma's conviction but reduced his sentence to three months imprisonment. He was taken directly from the court to prison.
“The verdict against Ahmed Abu Doma is a clear message that the Egyptian government is intent on oppressing advocates of democracy,” ANHRI said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“A message which is delivered through violence, the fabrication of cases and the use of the police as a first resort to crack down on protesters and those who do not give up their right to a state free of the emergency law, corruption and torture,” the statement continued.
ANHRI alleges that there were contradictions in the statements made by police officers about the events of May 3 and that the charges against Douma — who in February 2010 was released after being imprisoned by a military court in February 2009 for illegally entering Gaza — are fabricated.

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