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  • Mahienour el-Massry, a prominent human rights activist and lawyer received the the Ludovic Trarieux Award in 2014 while in prison.

    Mahienour el-Massry, a prominent human rights activist and lawyer received the the Ludovic Trarieux Award in 2014 while in prison. | Photo: Twitter (@AhmedNajiTW)

Published 22 September 2019

Mahienour el-Massry, a political activist and human rights advocate, has already been imprisoned twice for her taking part in protests. 

Egyptian authorities arrested and detained award-winning human rights lawyer and activist, Mahienour el-Massry, Sunday following her attendance to a judicial investigation into protesters arrested during Friday’s and Saturday’s demonstrations against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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As soon as left the state prosecutor’s office, el-Massry was apprehended, her lawyer Tarek Al-Awadi informed. The human rights attorney was in the prosecutor’s office to represent several protesters who were detained after the demonstrations. 

Massry, a political activist and human rights advocate, has already been imprisoned twice for her taking part in protests. 

In December 2013, in the aftermath of the depose of President Mohamed Morsi, she was jailed until September 2014 under the charge of participating in a demonstration without authorization. 

She received the Ludovic Trarieux Award while in prison, an international prize attributing each year a recompense to a lawyer for their contribution in the field of human rights.​​​​​​​ Later in 2015, Massry was sentenced to a year in prison for joining a sit-in during Morsi’s rule.

Protests broke out Friday and continued Saturday in several Egyptian cities calling for the removal of Sisi. 365 people were arrested during the protests according to the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights.

Such demonstrations are rare occurrence after the country effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military coup that ousted Morsi.

Since the general took power, the country has seen unprecedented repression and a surge in torture practices against rights groups, civil society organizations, journalists, and political opponents and activists.

But discontent over the economy has reached a tipping point in Egypt, where Sisi's government imposed strict austerity measures since 2016 as part of a US$12 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.

Nearly one in three Egyptians live below the poverty line on less than US$1.40 a day, according to official figures released in July.

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