Egyptian activist gets 2-year jail over ‘fake news’
CAIRO: An Egyptian court has sentenced an activist to two years in jail over a video she posted on social media criticising the government for failing to protect women against sexual harassment and over poor living conditions, her lawyer said.
Amal Fathy, a member of the now banned April 6 youth movement which played a role in 2011 protests that forced President Hosni Mubarak from ofice, was also ined 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($562), her lawyer Tarek Abuel Nasr and state news agency MENA said.
She was charged with spreading false news that threatened national security and disseminating a video that violated public decency. She also faces other charges including joining an illegal group.
“We have provided all the evidence to prove that she didn’t spread false news,” said her husband, Mohamed Lotfy, a human rights activist and executive director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF).
Government oficials were not immediately available to comment.
Fathy will appeal the ruling, her lawyer said.
Fathy was detained in May, days after she posted a 12-minute video in which she expressed her anger at poor public services at a local bank, heavy trafic, sexual harassment by a taxi driver and over a general deterioration in living conditions.
At the time a security source said Fathy had been detained over a complaint that she had insulted the Egyptian state through an offensive social media posting.
Egypt passed a law in July giving the state powers to block social media accounts and penalise journalists held to be publishing fake news.