Activist jailed for criticising government
Publish date: 07 January 2019
Issue Number: 805
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
An Egyptian appeals court has imposed a two-year prison sentence against women's rights activist Amal Fathy, who criticised authorities for failing to tackle sexual harassment. Fathy was charged with ‘spreading fake news’ in May after posting a Facebook video in which she described how she had been sexually harassed. She also condemned the government's failure to protect women. BBC News reports that she was handed a two-year jail term by a lower court in September, but it was suspended pending an appeal. Fathy is a former activist in the 6 April youth movement that was at the forefront of the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak. Mohamed Lotfi, who heads the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms NGO appealed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to pardon his wife. A report on the News24 site notes that Lotfi called on Sisi to take into account that his wife is being treated for trauma and depression. ‘Her condition has worsened during prison,’ he said. Amnesty International has called Fathi's sentence a ‘scandalous injustice’.