By Allaa Zain and Menan Khater
Egyptian activist and lawyer Mahienour El-Massry received the 19th Ludovic Trarieux Prize in Florence, Italy, on Friday, during the ceremony of the International Lawyers’ Union.
El-Massry, who is also a member of the Revolutionary Socialists movement, was selected for the prize during her detention period in June.
“I was astonished when I knew that I received your prestigious award, at that time I was in prison deprived from all kind of communication with the outside world,” El-Massry said in her speech. “I was one of millions of Egyptians who had dreamt of justice, made a revolution that toppled two dictators, and we are crossing fingers that it will topple the third.”
El-Massry and six others were charged with protesting without permission in front of the Alexandria Courthouse last December.
The group of activists were protesting at a hearing for the death of Khaled Said, whose 2010 killing while in state custody contributed to sparking the 25 January Revolution.
On 20 May, the Sidi Gaber Misdemeanour Court in Alexandria upheld the two-year jail sentence against El-Massry, and fined her EGP 50,000 for organising an unauthorised protest.
Five months later, a decree issued in September stopped the execution of the judgment against El-Massry, while the other defendants remain in jail.
El-Massry is an Alexandria-based lawyer and political activist who has long been outspoken advocate for the rights of detainees and political prisoners. She has also taken part in labour movements.
The Ludovic Trarieux award is given every year to a lawyer for his or her illustrated activism in defence of human rights.
El-Massry dedicated the award to her fellow activists charged on the same case but still behind bars. She also dedicated her win to other political activists arrested for protesting against the Protest Law, and to the three Al Jazeera staff members who are sentenced to 7 years in prison in Egypt.