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In his first interview since being released from prison, Alaa Abdel Fattah, a prominent Egyptian activist who served five years in jail for demonstrating against the draconian 2013 Protest Law, told AFP about his onerous probation conditions. The Egyptian government is utilizing an “arcane” probation law from 1945 to require Abdel Fattah, who is free during the day, to report to jail every night between 6pm and 6am. According to Abdel Fattah, “there isn’t a moment throughout the day when probation does not consume me…There’s a deep level of insult that I’m cooperating with the state in the destruction of my life everyday… which puts such immense psychological pressure on someone.” Najia Bounaim, deputy director for campaigns at Amnesty International’s regional office in Tunis, denounced the treatment of Abdel Fattah and other political activists, stating that “the Egyptian authorities are punishing activists by imposing excessive and in some cases ludicrous probation conditions that infringe upon their basic rights, in some cases amounting to deprivation of liberty.” A recent report by Mada Masr on such probationary measures noted that forcing people to spend the night in custody is a violation of Egyptian law.

Photo Credit:Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, released from prison in March, must now spend nights in a police cell as part of his probation. Cairo (AFP)

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