Rights groups demand Sisi release Aboul Fotouh

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Eight human rights groups have denounced the “disgraceful” rulings issued by the Emergency State Security Criminal Court against Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, head of the Strong Egypt Party, and his deputy, Muhammad al-Qassas, and others. They also called on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi not to ratify these rulings and pardon the detainees. The groups issued a joint statement in which they said that the rulings issued by a superior court reflect the Egyptian state’s continuing abuse and revenge against politicians. The court convicted the accused of crimes including leading and financing a terrorist group, possessing weapons and ammunition, promoting terrorist ideas, and deliberately broadcasting false news, statements and rumours at home and abroad.

Aboul Fotouh, 71, was arrested on February 14, 2018, days after his return from London. He appeared in media interviews in which he criticized the Egyptian authorities and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.