Mohamed Adel

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UPDATE: On June 18, 2018, Mohamed Adel was re-arrested on charges of spreading false news and expressing anti-state sentiments on Facebook. Adel was detained at a local police station where he had been required to spend 12-hours per day since his release from prison—a condition of his three-year probation.

On July 2, 2018, he went on a hunger strike to protest his holding conditions in an overcrowded ward in Mansoura Prison. His hunger strike ended two weeks later when his transfer to a new ward was confirmed. On July, 16, 2018 he was given an additional 15-day detention order. Although there have been no reports since, it is common for Egyptian authorities to thwart international and Egyptian law by detaining activists without charges or a confirmed trial.

Mohamed Adel is the media spokesperson and founder of the April 6 Youth Movement. On December 18, 2013, Adel was arrested by Egyptian authorities after they stormed the offices of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR). Adel was volunteering in the organization’s media unit at the time. After a quick trial, Adel was sentenced to three years in jail and a fine of 50,000 Egyptian pounds on charges of assaulting police officers and “organizing illegal protests.”

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 it 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.

Although the verdict was roundly condemned by local human rights groups, the court of cassation rejected an appeal from Adel (alongside Ahmed Maher and Ahmed Douma) in January 2015, and upheld their three-year sentences.

On 22 January 2017, after spending three years in jail, he was released and began his probation term. He remains under strict government surveillance. The confining nature of his probation has prevented him from having a wedding and attending his university classes.