Egypt court sentences researcher Patrick George Zaki to three years in prison

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Tuesday 18 Jul 2023

A Mansoura High Emergency State Security Court on Tuesday sentenced researcher and political activist Patrick George Zaki to three years in prison on charges of spreading false news.

Patrick Zaki
Italian-Egyptian researcher Patrick Zaki arrives at a courthouse in Egypt s northern Nile delta city of Mansoura for a trial hearing on June 21, 2022. AFP

 

Zaki was detained on a warrant from the prosecutor's office in February 2020, which accused him of spreading false news and data that could disrupt social peace, inciting protests without a permit, and intending to diminish the state's dignity and disrupt public order and security.

He was also accused of inciting the overthrow of the government and promoting principles and ideas that would lead to the change of the basic principles of the Constitution.

There is no appeal for the sentence, but a petition can be submitted to the presidency as the president ratifies the court sentences. The petition can be accepted or rejected.

A postgraduate student at Bologna University in Italy, Zaki is a researcher at the prominent Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).

Zaki was detained at Cairo International Airport in February 2020 after he arrived from Italy for a family visit, his lawyers said at the time. He was referred to trial in September 2021.

His arrest sparked condemnation in Italy, with calls for his release by rights organizations both at home and abroad.

Both the European Union and European Parliament have also called for his release.

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