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Egypt court orders release of woman activist detained over anti-harassment video

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Dec 2018
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A Cairo criminal court on Tuesday ordered the release of a rights activist who has been detained for months pending investigations into charges including spreading false news and misusing social media websites, a judicial source said.

Amal Fathy, a member of the now-banned 6 April Youth Movement, was arrested in May, days after she posted a video on Facebook in which she accused the government of failing to protect women from sexual harassment, and criticised poor service at a state-owned bank and deterioration in living conditions and public services.

She faces charges of sharing a video on Facebook to incite the overthrow of the regime, spreading false new and misusing social media websites.

On Tuesday, the court granted her conditional release, requiring her to report to a police station one day a week, the judicial source said

The court on Tuesday "accepted Amal Fathy's appeal against her detention and replaced pre-trial detention with precautionary measures," her lawyer Ramadan Mohamed said on Facebook.

An appeal by satirist Shady Abu Zeid, who is a co-defendant in the same case, was rejected by court.

In September, Fathy, 33,  was sentenced to two years in jail and fined EGP 10,000 (approximately $560) over similar charges, including spreading false news that threatened national security, in a separate case related to the anti-harassment video.

An appeal hearing in this second case had been scheduled for 30 December. She was given a bail of EGP 20,000 in this case and only remained in pre-trial detention due to charges in the first case, which involves a number of other co-defendants.

Also on Tuesday, Fathy's husband Mohamed Lotfy, who chairs the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, received the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law at a ceremony hosted by the French ambassador in Cairo.

 

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