U.S. urges Egypt to commute activists sentences

U.S. State Department spokesperson criticizes Egypt's courts over aggressive stance on prominent protestors

U.S. State Department spokesperson criticizes Egypt's courts over aggressive stance on prominent protestors

WASHINGTON - U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki has said that the U.S. is troubled by the decision of an Egyptian court to uphold the three-year jail terms for prominent activists, Mohamed Adel, Ahmed Douma, and Ahmed Maher.

Psaki added, "Their continued imprisonment under a law that severely restricts their universal right to peaceful assembly and expression runs counter to the Egyptian Government’s commitment to fostering an open electoral environment and a transition process that protects the universal rights of all Egyptians."

Psaki, at her daily press briefing, continued saying that the U.S. urged the Egyptian Government to exercise its constitutional authority to commute these excessive sentences as they "are not in line with the rights guaranteed in Egypt’s new constitution, Egypt’s international obligations, or the government’s own commitment not to return to Mubarak-era practices."

An Egyptian court has upheld the three-year jail sentences and US$7,000 fines given in January to Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 protest movement, leading group member Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Douma, after they were convicted of assaulting security forces and staging an unlicensed protest outside the Egyptian prosecutor-general's office in Cairo last November.

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