Egyp­tian ac­tivist gets 2-year jail over ‘fake news’

The Gulf Today - - MIDDLE EAST -

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.

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