Egypt Watch

Egypt asks Ahmed Douma’s family for EGP 6 million in exchange for release

The Facebook page of the detained activist Ahmed Douma said that the Egyptian Prisons Authority demanded his family pay off an EGP 6 million fine in the case of the Cabinet’s Incidents. The demand came in response to the measures made by Douma’s defence to implement the parole granted for Douma. Douma’s brother, Ismael, stated that the family was hoping that his brother’s name will be inserted on the presidential pardon’s list, but lawyers told them instead that his release is conditioned on paying off the fine, which the family cannot afford.

Douma was given a 15-year-imprisonment sentence as well as being given a financial fine because of his participation in the Cabinet’s Incidents, which were protests against nominating Kamal Al-Ganzoury as the prime minister in December 2011. Douma was arrested in December 2013 and was sentenced to life imprisonment in February 2015 for “participating in public peace-threatening protests and assaulting military men.” In October 2017, the Cassation Court aborted the sentence, but later it upheld the new sentence issued by Cairo’s Criminal Court in 2019.

Human rights lawyer, Khaled Ali, said that several defendants who were released from the cases the Senate’s Incidents (August 2013) and the Itthadiya’s Incidents (December 2012) under the presidential pardon in 2015, received notifications demanding them to pay off fines. Nevertheless, lawyer Mohamed Fathi explained that such demands are illegal because the presidential pardon wipes all original penalties, which involve fines according to the Egyptian penal code.