Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Egypt: Lawsuit Seeks to Allow Detained Blogger to Vote in Parliamentary Election

(Dec. 20, 2011) On December 8, 2011, blogger Alaa Abd al Fattah filed a lawsuit before an administrative court in Egypt against the Ministers of the Interior and of Justice, asking to be allowed to cast his vote in the parliamentary election. Alaa Abd al Fattah had been detained by the military police because he criticized the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) in his blog.

Abd al Fataah opposed the trials of civilians before military courts and accused members of SCAF of plotting to kill Christian protesters in what are known as the “Maspero events” of October 9, 2011, during which 27 Christians were killed and more than 200 were wounded. In response to Abd al Faraah's criticism, the military prosecution office charged him with inciting violence against the army and an array of other offenses, including insulting the Egyptian military.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Abd al Fattah's defense team on December 8, 2011, asserts the right to vote for detained individuals who have not been convicted. Egyptian law prohibits convicts from voting or running for any type of elected office. However, the defense lawyers maintain the innocence of their client, despite all the charges made by the military prosecution against him. They stated that his detention is temporary, and the court has not yet issued a final decision in his case. (A Lawsuit to Allow Alaa Abd al Fattah to Vote in the Parliamentary Election [in Arabic], AL YOUM 7 (Dec. 8, 2011).)

On December 15, 2011, Abd al Fattah was able to cast his vote in the second phase of the election. An electoral committee permitted him and five other detainees to vote at the Torah detention center. On December 12, 2011, Abd al Fattah's case was transferred from the military prosecution office to a civilian criminal court. (Alaa abd al Fattah Casts His Vote in a Special Electoral Station, AL YOUM 7 (Dec. 15, 2011).)