Egyptian Activist Imprisoned for ‘Spreading False News’

A criminal court in Cairo has sentenced human rights activist Sanaa Seif to one and a half years in prison for spreading “false news,” among other charges, on Wednesday.

The 10th South Cairo Criminal Court also convicted her of “misusing social media” and insulting a police officer, Amnesty International reported. 

Seif has actively campaigned for the release of arbitrarily-detained prisoners, over concerns of Egypt’s poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak in prisons.

Egyptian authorities arrested Seif on June last year outside the Public Prosecutor’s Office without a warrant. 

She was about to file a complaint on the attack against her, her mother and sister the previous day outside the Tora Prison Complex while attempting to communicate with her detained brother, activist Alaa Abdel Fattah.

“Today’s verdict is yet another crushing blow for the right to freedom of expression in Egypt,” said Amna Guellali, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Instead of opening investigations into the attack on Seif’s family, “Egyptian authorities arbitrarily arrested her and have now imprisoned her on bogus charges stemming purely from her peaceful criticism,” Guellali added.

“The Egyptian authorities have yet again demonstrated their unrelenting intent to punish any criticism of their dismal human rights record.”

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