April 6 Movement’s Cofounder Suspends 62-Day Hunger Strike

April 6 Youth Movement co-founder Ahmed Maher, imprisoned for over a year for violating the protest law, announced on Monday suspending a hunger strike he had maintained for 62 days.

The April 6 movement announced its co-founder’s decision, citing his mother’s wish as the driving force behind it. The movement said Maher will suspend his hunger strike until his next trial session in January.

“The decision comes in consideration to the health condition of Maher’s mother,” the movement said in a statement, adding that she “cannot bear any more bad news at this stage.”

Maher was sentenced to three years in prison in December after being charged with violating the protest law, alongside other April 6 co-founder Mohamed Adel and prominent political activist Ahmed Douma.

The trio had challenged the verdict at the appeals court, yet the court upheld the verdict in April.

The case has now been referred to the Court of Cassation, where another appeal will be considered on January 27.

Maher has requested moving up the date of the session, April 6 said.

Hunger strikes have lately become a common tool to protest detention, used by those arrested for political reasons. A large hunger strike campaign against the protest law picked up in late August and gained momentum in September, attracting over 1000 participants.

Former interim President Adli Mansour issued the protest law on November 24 to regulate peaceful assembly. The law has long been the epicentre of wide criticism by domestic and international human rights organisations which say it violates international standards for peaceful protests.

The legislation obliges demonstrators to inform the authorities of their intention to assemble three days prior to their scheduled events. It also gives the interior ministry the right to cancel, postpone or move protests.

The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) filed on September 13 a lawsuit at the Supreme Constitutional Court, Egypt’s top court, challenging the constitutionality of articles in the law.

Source : Aswat Masriya