An Egyptian courtroom sentenced a Lebanese vacationer to eight years in jail on Saturday after she posted a video tirade on her Facebook web page that Egyptian authorities claimed had insulted the nation and its chief.
The news website Ahram reported that Mona el-Mazbouh was initially handed an 11-year sentence and a nice after she was convicted of “deliberately broadcasting false rumors which aim to undermine society and attack religions.” But her sentence was instantly decreased to eight years.
Under Egyptian regulation, “defaming and insulting the Egyptian people” is a criminal offense.
In the May put up on her Facebook web page, which went viral, Ms. Mazbouh described being harassed by two males on the road of Cairo’s upscale Zamalek neighborhood and being ill-treated by a taxi driver. She referred to as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “unjust” and Egypt a “son of a bitch country,” according to Reuters, which reported on the video earlier than it was eliminated.
“You deserve what Sisi is doing to you. I hope God sends you someone more oppressive than Sisi,” she mentioned within the unique clip. She additionally made derogatory feedback about Egyptians.
The case comes as Egypt is bolstering its tourism business and making an attempt to attract outdoors funding; critics say the case does nothing to assist the nation’s international picture.
While Egyptian courts usually hand down initially heavy sentences which might be later decreased on enchantment, human rights advocates say that that is the newest in a collection of overly extreme judgments aimed toward stamping out dissent. They have referred to as for the discharge of Ms. Mazbouh. She will have the ability to enchantment the choice later this month, Ahram reported.
Ms. Mazbouh took the video down from her Facebook web page, however not earlier than it had unfold extensively on Egyptian social media. The backlash was swift. The clip was rapidly copied from her web page and still appears on different social networks. It angered some Egyptians on social media, who referred to as for her arrest.
The day earlier than being detained, she posted a second video on Facebook apologizing to Egyptians she had offended.
“I definitely didn’t mean to offend all Egyptians, and never meant to say anything about the country’s political affairs,” Ms. Al-Mazbouh mentioned within the video, the place she is seen sniffling and sporting sun shades. “I love all Egyptians and I love this country. That’s why I visited it more than once and I keep coming back.”
The following day, Ms. Mazbouh was arrested at Cairo airport on June 2 as she ready to board a airplane in another country, based on Ahram.
Critics of the choice mentioned her sentencing shouldn’t be solely disproportionate, however a foul public relations transfer for a rustic trying to increase its worldwide picture.
There have been different related circumstances introduced not too long ago towards ladies in Egypt.
Egyptian activist Amal Fathy was detained in May after she posted an expletive laden video to her Facebook web page denouncing sexual harassment and the state of the nation. She detailed harassment that she had skilled that very same day, and vowed to depart the nation together with her younger son.
She and her son have been detained after the video was posted. Months later, Ms. Fathy continues to be being held, awaiting trial on costs of inciting terrorism over the web and spreading pretend information.
Her husband, Mohamed Lotfy, is a outstanding Egyptian human rights activist and launched a campaign for her release. Mr. Lotfy, in his marketing campaign, wrote that his spouse is being held at Al Qanater ladies’s jail north of Cairo and her well being is deteriorating.
“Her lawyers presented a report from her psychologist explaining that she suffers from chronic depression and the prison doctor made two reports confirming this and explaining that her health condition deteriorates as a result of her detention,” Mr. Lofty wrote. “She suffers from frequent panic assaults in jail and her current paralysis appears to be attributable to her psychological state.”
Before her arrest, she was a vocal critic of the federal government and its failure to guard ladies from widespread road harassment.
“It is a darkish day when the Egyptian authorities are extra involved with silencing a lady who speaks out about sexual harassment than taking steps to deal with the problem,” Najia Bounaim, North Africa campaigns director at Amnesty International, said in a statement on the time of Ms. Fathy’s arrest.
Declan Walsh and Nour Youssef contributed reporting.