09/16/2014, 00.00
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Muslim Brotherhood leader gets life as secular pro-democracy activist gets out on bail

Abdul Fattah, a pro-democracy activist and blogger who led the Arab spring against former Egyptian President Mubarak, had been sentenced to 15 years for violating anti-protest law. On top of their legal problems, the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, are expelled from Qatar, which had protected so far. Turkey might be their next home.

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - In a harsh decision, an Egyptian court sentenced the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to 25 years in prison. At the same time, a pro-democracy activist was released pending a re-trial after receiving a 15-year sentence in prison.

Yesterday, a court imposed a life sentence (which in Egypt is 25 years in prison) to Mohamed Badie, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and 14 other defendants, accused of murder and incitement to violence in July 2013. Badie, 71, has already two life sentences and a death sentence, along with 182 other defendants.

In addition to legal problems, the Muslim Brotherhood is faced with Qatar's decision to expel the leaders of its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party. Until now they had been allowed to live in the Gulf nation under the protection of its rulers.

Announced by a Brotherhood spokesman, the emirate's decision follows heavy pressure from other countries in the region, most notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The Muslim Brotherhood might however find refuge in Turkey. According to Turkish media, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is willing to allow the organisation into the country.

In Egypt, another court ordered the release on bail of one of the country's most prominent bloggers and pro-democracy activists, Alaa Abdul Fattah (pictured).

Mr Fattah, a leading figure in the Arab spring against the then-President Hosni Mubarak, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for assaulting a police officer at an illegal protest.

Pending his re-trial, he should be released today.

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