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Ahmed Abdullah and Mina Thabet

Dr. Ahmed Abdullah is an electrical engineer, human rights defender, and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF).  Dr. Abdullah was arrested at his home on April 25, 2016 as part of a crackdown against activists in the run-up to a planned demonstration later that day.  (The purpose of the demonstration was to peacefully protest abuses by the security forces and President Sisi’s decision in early April to cede two uninhabited islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia.)  He told his lawyers that he was ill-treated upon arrest by security forces.  The following month, on May 19, Mina Thabet, an engineer and ECRF’s minorities and marginalized groups programme director, was also arrested and allegedly assaulted by security forces. Both Dr. Abdullah and Mr. Thabet were charged with offenses under controversial counter-terrorism and protest laws and faced sentences of up to life in prison.  Mr. Thabet was released after one month in detention and Dr. Addullah was released after nearly five months.  Both were released on bail pending further investigations.  In January 2017, their cases were closed based on a lack of evidence.