Over five years ago, I wrote about Alaa Abdel-Fattah being detained by the Mubarak regime.
Sadly, I am now writing again that Alaa is detained for 15 days.
Open Source Advocate
I knew Alaa online only for a few years, being both contributors to the Drupal open source content management system. I saw him on AlJazeera advocating for freedoms and reforms in Egypt before I actually met him in person in summer 2007. That was when I was giving a presentation in Cairo about Drupal performance.
Could Have Avoided It
It should be mentioned that Alaa was traveling all of the past week, attending the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference, and giving a keynote and participating in a panel, as well as visiting Occupy Oakland a few times.
Alaa knew well what was awaiting him when he returns, and could have easily stayed abroad to avoid the fate.
Courage and Principle
Instead, Alaa consulted his father, Ahmed Seif El Islam Hamad, a prominent human rights lawyer, about his summon before the military court investigating the Maspero events on October 9, 2011, where 27 civilians and one soldier were killed.
Alaa in a courageous and principled manner refused to acknowledge the military court on the grounds that his is a civilian and military courts have no jurisdiction over civilians, and because the military is accused of atrocities, mistakes or misconduct in that fateful day, it is not a disinterested party, and the matter should be investigated in front of a civilian court.
He was ordered detained.
I am sure that Alaa and father foresaw this, and calculated that he would be detained. The stupid military prosecution officers acted in typical military pig headed and detained Alaa. Little they know that a public outcry, and an international one too, would result.
They just swallowed the hook ... idiots ...
Expecting his first born
It took 6 weeks for him to be released last time he was detained. Let us hope that this time he will be released in a few days. His wife Manal is expecting a boy, whom they will name Khaled, after Khaled Saeed during November. Hope that Alaa is there for the birth.
It should also be mentioned that Mona, Alaa's sister started the No Military Trials movement after 12,000 Egyptian civilians were put on military trials, all getting sentences ranging from execution to 15 years of prison.
Alaa's detainment unleashed a fury of on social media.
Will the military come to their senses and stop this nonsense? I doubt it very much. Alaa my be freed because of pressure, but the military will not budge on others, because they are a) military and b) part of Mubarak's regime who never understood that this was a true popular revolution.