A Cairo misdemeanour court sentenced on Wednesday political activist Sanaa Seif to six months in prison for “insulting the judiciary.”
Last week, the prosecution referred Seif to court after she refused to cooperate with investigations conducted by the prosecution over accusations of inciting protests against the Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea island deal and distributing posters to citizens in the Moqattam area.
Scores of people were arrested across the country over the past two weeks at protests – as well as from their homes and in cafes – against Egypt's recent decision to acknowledge Saudi Arabia's sovereignty over the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.
The 21-year-old Seif described the investigations as a “farce,” which the prosecution considered an insult to the investigators.
“Since the judicial system has lost its sovereignty, with it not issuing its own decisions, as it has lost its fairness as well as its commitment to delivering justice; and given that executive authorities are the ones running the state, I describe this investigation as only a farce, and this is why I refuse to cooperate with it,” Seif told prosecutors last week, according to her sister Mona.
Seif, who is currently out on bail, did not attend today’s court session.
The political activist still has the right to appeal the decision, though she said on her Facebook account that she would not do so.
Seif is the daughter of prominent late human rights advocate and lawyer Ahmed Seif El-Islam, and sister of human rights advocate Mona Seif and leading activist and blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is serving a jail sentence for breaking the protest law.
She was among a group of political activists arrested at a protest march in June 2014 that called for the repeal of the protest law, which bans demonstrations without police authorisation and punishes violators with imprisonment.
Sanaa was sentenced to three years imprisonment, before being released after spending 15 months in prison by a presidential pardon in September 2015.