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Amnesty 'outraged' after Egypt court hands 25 opponents lengthy prison terms

Egypt’s former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh
Egypt’s former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh in the Swiss resort of Davos, on January 27, 2012 [VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/GettyImages]

Amnesty International yesterday condemned an Egyptian court that sentenced a former presidential candidate to 15 years in prison.

On Sunday, an emergency court handed Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, 70, a 15-year jail term for "spreading false news" and "incitement against state institutions."

Fotouh was arrested and detained in February 2018 after returning to Egypt from London, where he criticised coup leader and incumbent President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Throughout his detention his family raised grave concerns about his health, highlighting that he suffers high blood pressure and diabetes.

In March it was reported that Fotouh was unable to move after suffering a slipped disc. Last year he suffered his third heart attack since being detained.

Deputy head of the Strong Egypt Party, which Fotouh is head of, Mohamed Al-Qassas, was sentenced to ten years in prison.

READ: Ayman Hadhoud's family presses Egypt authorities for CCTV footage of him prior to his death

There were 23 other people in the same trial including former Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mahmoud Ezzat, 77, who was also given 15 years.

Last year a leaked video of Ezzat circulated on social media in which he revealed he was never exposed to sunlight and was being kept in solitary confinement.

Ezzat was arrested in 2020 and accused of "communication with Hamas", one of several sentences which have been handed down to him over the years including the death penalty twice in absentia.

Amnesty said that the defendants had been tortured and that the trial was "politically motivated."

There are roughly 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt who are systematically tortured, sentenced to prison after grossly unfair trials and whose families have been subject to punitive measures.

"Amnesty is outraged by emergency court sentencing 25 opponents to long prison terms in grossly unfair and politically-motivated trial not subject to appeal," the rights watchdog said in a Tweet.

"The defendants, some held since 2013, have been subjected to a litany of abuses including torture and ill-treatment."

AfricaAmnesty InternationalEgyptInternational OrganisationsNews
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