Egyptian court hands final prison sentences to activists Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Oxygen, lawyer El-Baqer

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Dec 2021

The Emergency State Security Misdemeanour Court sentenced renowned Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah on Monday in the case 1228/2021 to five years in prison over joining a terrorist group and spreading false news inside and outside the country.

Egyptian activists Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Oxygen, lawyer Baqer

The court also sentenced two co-defendants in the case, activist Mohamed Ibrahim (aka Mohamed Oxygen) and lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer, to four years.

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

The three defendants had been held in pretrial detention since September 2019.

In October, the Public Prosecution referred them to the Emergency State Security Misdemeanour Court.

The prosecution had charged them with spreading fake news and statements, misusing social media, and joining an illegal group that seeks to suspend the constitution and laws, and prevent state institutions from carrying out their duties.

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

In a document, the State Security Prosecution said the defendants in the case 1781/2019 are also accused in other cases of various terror-related crimes, including belonging to an outlawed group, inciting violence against the state, calling for the suspension of the constitution, attempting to overthrow the regime, threatening national security, and spreading chaos.

Earlier this month, the German government urged Egypt to ensure a fair trial for the defendants and called for their release, saying “the upcoming pronouncement of a judgment on 20 December 2021 in the trial of the lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer will show where the human rights situation in Egypt is heading.”

Egypt rebuked the German government on Saturday, calling the statement “a blatant and unjustified interference in the internal affairs of Egypt” and “an infringement upon a judicial path without objective evidence or proof.”

In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry also accused the German government of “double standards” since it calls on the one hand for the respect of the rule of law while calling on the Egyptian government to intervene and influence the rulings of the country’s independent judiciary.

“It is better for the German government to heed its own internal challenges than to impose its guardianship on others,” the foreign ministry added.

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