Egyptian activist sentenced to 18 months for ‘fake news’

Egyptian activist sentenced to 18 months for ‘fake news’

FRONTLINERS NEWS

Sanaa Seif, arrested in June last year, denied accusations she ‘broadcast fake news and rumours’ about Egypt’s health situation.

An Egyptian court has convicted a prominent human rights activist for spreading false news and insulting a police officer, sentencing her to 18 months in prison.

Sanaa Seif was arrested in June last year, accused by prosecutors of “broadcasting fake news and rumours” about the country’s health crisis and the spread of the novel coronavirus in prisons

Seif, who has been in custody since her arrest, denied the accusations.

She was also convicted of insulting a police officer on Facebook, her lawyer Hesham Ramada said. He said they would appeal the Cairo Criminal Court ruling to a higher court.

The verdict was delivered by a chief judge on Wednesday in Seif’s absence, her sister Mona Seif, also an activist, said in a series of tweets. “They didn’t bring Sanaa to the court hall or into the cage,” she added.

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Human rights outcry

The verdict was expected to stir an outcry by international rights groups, which accuse Egyptian authorities of waging a broad crackdown on dissent and jailing thousands – mainly Islamists but also others including well-known secular activists.

Rights groups have said the crackdown seeks to muzzle dissent. Egyptian authorities deny the accusation, saying detentions are in line with the law and the country’s courts operate independently.

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