The Social Popular Alliance Party condemned the imprisoning of eight activists who were protesting in solidarity with Copts following the bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve in 2010.
The party said in a statement Sunday that imprisoning activists is a “crime against the revolution.”
The judge of Rod al-Farag Court on Saturday sentenced eight activists to two years in prison and a fine after it found them guilty of attacking police in their protest in Shubra in front of the Virgin Church.
The activists are Mostafa Mohiy Eddin, Mohamed Atef, Mohamed Nagy, Mostafa Shawky, Tamer Adel Abdel Aziz, Ahmed Refaat, Dia Eddin Ahmed Raby and Amr Ahmed Hassan.
Last year, an explosion rocked the Two Saints Church in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 21 worshippers.
The activists, who include some founders of the party, were among thousands of youth who took to streets on 3 January last year to condemn the church bombing and call for the dismissal of former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly.
“Revenge, punishment, setting traps and inciting are still ongoing instead of punishing policemen who selected the suspects on a sectarian basis, and instead of celebrating the Egyptian youth who paved the road for freedom,” the party’s statement said.
It added that the party demands an end to the fabrication of accusations against activists, saying they are still defending their country against sectarianism despite the violence they face.
A local rights watchdog on Sunday denounced the verdict.
“This ruling is a blow for freedom of expression and a sharp decline of the right to peaceful demonstration after the success of the Egyptian revolution in this field, despite the detection of the behavior of the police and Egyptian officers in the fabrication of charges and the use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations, which resulted in the deaths of revolutionary martyrs and wounding of thousands of demonstrators,” said a statement by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.