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Egypt jails ex-presidential candidate, for 15 years

May 30, 2022 at 8:55 am

Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh (R), former Egyptian presidential candidate and ex-Muslim Brotherhood member, attends a trial session at the Tora courthouse complex in southeastern Cairo on 24 November 2021. [KHALED KAMEL/AFP via Getty Images]

An Egyptian criminal court yesterday sentenced former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and the deputy Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahmoud Izzat to 15 years in prison, judicial sources said.

News agencies reported that they were accused of “spreading false news” and “incitement against state institutions.”

Aboul Fotouh, 70, was sentenced to 15 years in prison subject to appeal. His family and human rights groups said that he suffers from several illnesses.

Ezzat, who is already serving multiple life sentences on other charges, suffers from several health problems and is enduring harsh conditions in jail.

Mohamed Al Qassas, the deputy head of Aboul Fotouh’s Strong Egypt party, was sentenced to ten years in prison.

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Rights groups have repeatedly called on Egyptian authorities to ensure fair trials for the hundreds of prisoners being held in harsh conditions in jails.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and others say the detention and prosecution of Aboul Fotouh and Al-Qassas are part of a government crackdown that targeted pro-democracy activists.

Both men were detained in February 2018 after criticising President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government.

Egypt banned the Brotherhood after Al-Sisi, then army chief, led the overthrow of democratically-elected Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi following mass protests in 2013.

Later, Egyptian courts sentenced Brotherhood affiliates for their membership in the group claiming they aimed to destroy the country’s institutions by force.