Alaa Abd El Fattah, 33, played a key role in the 2011 Egyptian uprising by leading protests. Now the blogger is being put in jail for leading another demonstration in 2013 because, as it happens, the protest in question was “unauthorized” by an increasingly despotic Egyptian government.

The New York Times:

A blogger who came to be one of the best-known faces of the 2011 uprising in Egypt was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday…Alaa Abd El Fattah…comes from a prominent family of left-leaning activists and writers. He was convicted of taking part in an unauthorized November 2013 demonstration against military trials of civilians, as well as related charges like rioting and disturbing the peace. In addition to the prison sentence, he was fined $13,000 by the court in Cairo.

Another defendant who was arrested at the same street protest received the same sentence on Monday, and as many as two dozen more were given three-year sentences and the same fine. Mr. Abd El Fattah apparently got a stiffer penalty than most because he led calls for the protest.

The courtroom, packed with reporters, activists and relatives of the defendants, erupted into chaos as soon as the verdict was read. Chants of “down with injustice” turned into chants of “down with military rule.”

Read more.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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