July 5, 2019

Activist and blogger Alaa Abd El-Fattah has filed a lawsuit against the President of the Republic and the Minister of Interior to enable him to take a laptop and a mobile phone with him whilst he is in police custody at the Dokki Police Station from 6pm to 6am.

Lawyer Khalid Ali said that El-Fattah should not be deprived of his rights and that doing so “reflects a case of abuse of power.”

The Egyptian political activist El-Fattah has complained about the security monitoring system he had to sign upon his release in March. Under this system he must surrender himself at 6pm every evening to the nearest police station to spend the night in a cell until 6am when he is released again. Thus, El-Fattah is a free man in the day and a prisoner in solitary confinement at night.

On February 23 2015 El-Fattah was sentenced to five years imprisonment and five years police surveillance for his participation in a protest against a law restricting the right to demonstration, passed in 2013.

In May, El-Fattah lodged a complaint with the National Council for Human Rights regarding the inflexibility of the security surveillance.

El-Fattah said earlier that officers from the National Security Agency had threatened him with prison twice if he did not stop talking publicly about the surveillance.

El-Fattah was one of Egypt’s leading bloggers and activists in the post-2005 period. As a programmer, he was involved in managing several platforms that advocated freedom of expression and public space. He is also one of the icons of the January 25 revolution.

On November 28, 2013, he was arrested by the Egyptian authorities on charges of incitement to demonstrate outside the Shura Council building. At the time, 20 policemen stormed his house, broke the door, and confiscated the family’s computers and mobile phones.

On February 23 2015 he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and five years’ police surveillance. The Court of Cassation upheld the verdict in 2017. On March 29 this year he was released.