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Egypt sentences 5 pro-democracy activists to prison

Zyad El-Elaimy [DMagdy92/Twitter]
Zyad El-Elaimy [DMagdy92/Twitter]

Egypt's Emergency State Security Court yesterday sentenced five political activists to varying prison terms ranging from three to five years for allegedly spreading false news and "disturbing public peace".

Ikram Yousef, the mother of detainee Zyad El-Elaimy, said her son was sentenced to five years in prison. El-Elaimy is a lawyer who was elected into parliament after the January 25 Revolution which toppled former ruler, Hosni Mubarak.

The same court sentenced journalists, Hisham Fuad and Hossam Moniss, to four years in jail in the same case, while Muhammad Al-Bahnasi and Hussam Abdel Nasser were handed three-year terms.

The ruling cannot be appealed.

In 2020, an Egyptian court sentenced El-Elaimy to one-year in jail on a similar charge.

READ: Sisi's battle with human rights is not over yet

The activists were integral in the 20111 revolution that ended more than 30 years of Mubarak's rule.

Commenting on the ruling, Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director at Amnesty International said the politicians and activists should not have been arrested and yet they have been sentenced to prison terms for their legitimate criticism of the Egyptian authorities.

He added that members of the Alliance of Hope, a political alliance through which these activists were preparing to run for parliament elections before their arrest, have suffered "arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, enforced disappearance and intimidation".

He called on President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to "immediately and unconditionally release them."

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