Middle East

Egypt sentences activist Sanaa Seif to 18 months in jail amid international outcry

Egyptian activist Sanaa Seif was sentenced to at least one and a half years in jail on Wednesday, her sister confirmed on Wednesday. Twitter.

Seif, a distinguished activist and movie editor, was removed outdoors the legal professional basic’s workplace in Cairo on June 23 final yr as she sought to file a proper grievance for being assaulted the day earlier than whereas tenting outdoors Tora jail, the place he’s being held his brother Alaa Abdel Fattah.

The 26-year-old activist has since been remanded in custody.

‘It has been scandalous from the beginning that she was arrested and prosecuted as an alternative of investigating the bodily assault on her’

– Amr Magdy, Human Rights Watch

Her sister Mona Seif stated on Wednesday {that a} Cairo courtroom had sentenced her to 18 months in jail for “spreading false information associated to the Covid-19 pandemic“, and” utilizing a Fb account to terrorize folks “.

The activist and her mom, Laila Soueif, had tried to prepare a sit-in outdoors the gates of Tora jail after being barred from visiting or speaking with Abdel Fattah in writing.

A day earlier than Seif’s arrest, she suffered a head harm when she, her sister and her mom had been assaulted outdoors the jail by a gaggle of girls in civilian garments who allegedly adopted the guards’ directions. jail and police.

Seif was later kidnapped by plainclothes officers in entrance of the prosecution as she tried to file a grievance with the prosecutor concerning the assault.

Two months after his preliminary detention, the case was referred to the legal courtroom. His trial started on September 12.

Mona Seif documented her sister’s accidents on-line, accusing the prosecution of ignoring 11 complaints filed by the household to analyze the bodily assault.

Amr Magdi, Egypt researcher at Human Rights Watch, referred to as Seif’s sentence “unfair.”

“It has been scandalous from the beginning that she was arrested and prosecuted as an alternative of investigating the bodily assault on her,” he advised Center East Eye.

“The sentence reveals the standing of Egyptian justice at the moment, which is essentially within the service of the political pursuits of the federal government, reasonably than serving to to ship justice.”

“ Clear and documented violations ”

Seif’s arrest was denounced by dozens of worldwide public figures, together with Hollywood actors Danny Glover, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Thandie Newton, who signed a joint declaration in August, calling on Egypt to launch it.

5 Egyptian rights teams on Tuesday condemned Seif’s continued detention and stated the case had been marred by “clear and documented violations,” together with the falsification of the official arrest report at his whereabouts. arrest.

The organizations added in a press release shared with MEE that the prosecution had questioned Seif on issues regarding his private life and “turned a blind eye to his complaints of accidents throughout his physique,” significantly his ft and again.

They added that the prosecution solely recorded the explanation for his accidents, specifically the assault on 4 unidentified girls outdoors the door of Tora jail.

Rights teams additionally stated Seif and his lawyer weren’t allowed entry to the investigation report and the arrest warrants.

Her pre-trial detention was additionally renewed on paper with out permitting her to attend the periods held to resume her detention on July 5, 19 and 28 and August 17, 2020. The prosecution claimed that she couldn’t attend as a measure of precaution towards the Covid -19 pandemic.

Sanaa Seif
A mural by Sanaa Seif in Rome, painted by Ammar Abo Bakr in 2015 (MEE / Giovanni Piazzese)

Seif had already been detained on two different events since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi got here to energy following a 2013 coup. She was first detained from June 2014 to September 2015 for collaborating in “unlawful demonstrations”, and was detained for an extra six months in 2016 for “insulting justice”.

Seif and his household have been amongst Egypt’s best-known Arab Spring activists for the reason that revolution that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Human Rights Watch estimated that greater than 60,000 political prisoners have languished in Egyptian jails since Sisi got here to energy in 2014.

Sisi has commonly jailed critics, together with secular and Muslim Brotherhood politicians, journalists and human rights defenders. Lots of of individuals have died in detention resulting from medical negligence or different poor circumstances of detention.

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