Probation as Compounded Punishment in Egypt

Source: The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Author(s): Yasmin Omar and Mai El-Sadany

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This week, officers went into the Dokki Police Station and threatened to send Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah back to jail if he did not stop talking about the conditions of his probation. At the end of last month, Alaa had been physically released from detention after serving a five-year sentence on charges involving a peaceful protest outside of the Shura Council in 2013. Although his release was widely celebrated, as part of his sentence he is obligated to fulfill a five-year probation period—a requirement that mandates his presence at the police station every day between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. for the next five years. Though jarring, Alaa’s probation order is unfortunately not an aberration but the latest in a systematic trend that has observers wondering how and to what extent probation has become an additional form of punishment in today’s Egypt.

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