Amr Ali

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EGYPT / Detained on September 22, 2015

UPDATE: On September 18, 2018, the South Cairo Criminal Court ordered Ali to be conditionally released. On October 27, 2018, the South Cairo Prosecutor mitigated and extended the precautionary measures of Amr Ali for 45 days.

In October 2013, Amr Ali was elected as the new head of the April 6 Youth Movement, succeeding founder Ahmed Maher. In September 22, 2015, the security forces arrested Ali in the city of Ashmoun, Monufiya, and transferred him to the National Security Agency for interrogations. In February 29, 2016, Ali was sentenced to three years in jail and a fine of 500 Egyptian pounds for “conspiring to overthrow the government.”

The April 6 Movement was originally started as a Facebook group in support of textile workers of the city of Mahall al-Kobrahas. It was named after their planned strike date of April 6, 2008. The group quickly acquired thousands of followers and became one of the most prominent youth opposition groups in Egypt. They played a critical role in the uprising on January 25, 2011, for which they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize later that year.

After the coup, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ran a sustained propaganda campaign against the April 6 Movement, accusing the group of serving foreign agendas against the Egyptian people’s interests and receiving foreign funds. After years of arrests and harassment, an Egyptian court issued a verdict in April 2014 to ban the April 6 Movement over accusations of espionage and defaming the Egyptian state. In January 2015, Ali was among several activists whose assets were frozen by a Judicial Ministry panel.

In July 30, 2016, Ali’s sentence was commuted to two years. In September 2016, Ali started a hunger strike after being transferred to “a disciplinary cell by the Tora prison administration.”

Following Ali’s September 2017 detention order, he was kept in solitary confinement until May 2018. Lawyers have not been permitted to read the case files pertaining to case 473/2014 and do not know what crime the charges pertain to.