Egyptian court upholds prison sentence against Amal Fathy
31 Dec 2018
Mohamed Lotfy (right) with his wife, the imprisoned activist Amal Fathy
Mohamed Lotfy (right) with his wife, the imprisoned activist Amal Fathy

An Egyptian court on Sunday upheld a two-year prison sentence against activist Amal Fathy, who had been detained since May after posting a Facebook video that criticised sexual harassment in Egypt.

Her lawyer Ramadan Mohamed told Middle East Eye that her appeal had been rejected and that she would now serve jail time. Fathy is also accused of publishing offensive content, Mohamed said.

Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, said: “Index on Censorship is extremely disappointed at the decision to uphold the sentence against Amal. She should never have been charged or detained for expressing her opinion. All charges against her should be dropped and she should be released.”

Fathy and her husband Mohamed Lotfy, together with their young son, were detained after a night-time raid on their apartment on 11 May. Lotfy and the couple’s son were released after several hours, but Fathy has remained detained since then.

Following the Facebook video Ms Fathy was sentenced in September for “spreading fake news”. She also faced security-related charges, including for membership of a terrorist organisation.

Lotfy is co-founder and executive director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, which received an Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Campaigning Award in April 2018.

In May leading international human rights lawyers at Doughty Street Chambers, jointly with ECRF and Index on Censorship, lodged complaints with the United Nations rapporteurs on freedom of expression and human rights defenders regarding Fathy’s detention. In July, Doughty Street Chambers, ECRF and Index raised Fathy’s case with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

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