Egypt puts prominent human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate on trial
An Egyptian human rights lawyer and would-be presidential election candidate is to stand trial next week charged with offending public decency, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Khaled Ali, 45, was detained on Tuesday in what rights group Amnesty International said was part of a campaign of intimidation aimed at discouraging participation in the election, due to take place next summer.
A prosecutor on Wednesday released Ali on bail and set his trial for May 29, Ali’s lawyer Malek Adly said.
The charge he faces relates to a photograph in which he appears to make a rude hand gesture on the steps of a Cairo court house, according to Adly. Ali denies the authenticity of the photo.
“This is all connected to his human rights and political work,” said Adly, a member of Ali’s leftwing Bread and Freedom Party. “We are being punished for practising clean politics, and yes, we intend to run, which is why we are facing this campaign.”
If convicted, Ali could face up to two years in prison, a fine of up to 5-10,000 Egyptian pounds ($250-550), or both. He would also be barred from running for the presidency.
Since toppling Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi …read more