Foreign ministry says it is 'inappropriate' for US to comment on judicial rulings in Egypt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 21 Dec 2021

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Hafez said on Monday that it was “inappropriate to comment on judicial rulings” in response to statements made by the US State Department’s Spokesman criticizing a verdict handed earlier on the same day to activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and two others.

Ahmed Hafez
Egypt s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Hafez. Photo courtesy of Egyptian foreign ministry Facebook page.

On Monday, an Egyptian Emergency Misdemeanour State Security court sentenced Abdel-Fattah in case 1228/2021 to five years in prison and co-defendants Mohamed Ibrahim (aka Mohamed Oxygen) and Lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer to four years on charges of joining a terrorist group and spreading false news inside and outside the country.

The rulings against the three defendants are final and cannot be appealed since they were issued by a state security court, as per Egyptian law.

In November, Egypt’s Court of Cassation upheld a ruling from case 1781/2019 to place Abdel-Fattah, El-Baqer, and 26 others on the country’s terrorism list for a period of five years.

According to the state-owned news agency MENA, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hafez said that “it is inappropriate to comment or refer to rulings issued by the Egyptian judiciary in the implementation of [the country’s] laws on the basis of irrefutable and conclusive evidence within the framework of a fair, impartial, and independent judicial process.”

Such judicial matters should not be put in any political frames or be linked to ties between the two countries, Hafez added. 

The spokesman’s statements came hours after US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that Washington was “disappointed” by the verdict, calling on authorities to allow journalists, human rights defenders, and others seeking to peacefully exercise their freedom of expression to do so.

On Saturday, Egypt rejected a statement by the German government on the same case that was released one day ahead of the court session, calling it a “blatant and unjustified interference in the country’s internal affairs.”

In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry rebuked the German government’s statement saying that it is “comprised of unacceptable infractions” and represents both “a blatant and unjustified interference in the internal affairs of Egypt” and “infringes upon a judicial path without objective evidence or proof.”

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