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Alexandrian rights lawyer gets 10-year jail term, five-year ban on internet use in terrorism conviction

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Apr 2017
Ramadan
Lawyer and Labor Rights activist Mohamed Ramadan (Photo: Facebook)
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An Alexandria criminal court on Wednesday sentenced human rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan in absentia to 10 years in prison, followed by five years' house arrest during which he will be banned from using the internet.

The internet ban is the first-ever such court sentence in Egypt.

Ramadan was originally referred to the criminal court on charges of inciting terrorist attacks, endangering lives and public property, threatening national unity, and preventing authorities from carrying out their duties.

Ramadan was also accused by the prosecution of creating a Facebook account with the aim of spreading extremist ideologies and inciting terrorist attacks.

He has the right to a new trial if he appears before the court.

Ramadan was tried under the 2015 counter-terrorism law which has been used by prosecutors to charge defendants in several terrorism-related cases in the past two years.

Article 37 of the law states that in addition to being subject to exceptional sentences like house arrest, those convicted of terrorism-related crimes could be banned from using or possessing certain means of communications.

One of Ramadan's lawyers Mahinour El-Masry said that the prosecution presented screenshots of Facebook posts not made by Ramadan, adding that the case against Ramadan was "loose."

On Tuesday, Egypt's parliament voted unanimously to ratify a three-month state of emergency proposed on Sunday by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. The declaration of the state of emergency comes following two deadly suicide bombings that hit Egypt's St George Cathedral in Tanta and St Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria on Palm Sunday, killing 46 and injuring dozens more during prayer services. The state of emergency grants authorities expanded powers including trying civilians in special courts, restricting or regulating movement in public places, and more authority to regulate media outlets.

 

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