Egypt to release Palestinian activist Ramy Shaath; set to deport him - NCHR member

Ahram Online , Monday 3 Jan 2022

Egypt will release within hours Palestinian-Egyptian activist Ramy Shaath, who spent two-and-a-half years in prison, after which he is set to be deported, member of Egypt's National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Mohamed Anwar Esmat El-Sadat announced on Monday evening.

Palestinian Egyptian activist Ramy Shaath

In a press release, El-Sadat thanked the public prosecution, the ministries of interior and foreign affairs, and the French Embassy in Cairo as well as the Palestinian Authority for Shaath's expected release.

The Shaath family has not confirmed or denied the news.

Shaath, 51, the son of former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath, has been detained since 2019 over charges of assisting a terrorist group in the case known in the media as the “Hope Cell” case.

Shaath, along with 12 other defendants in the case, also faced charges of disseminating false news about the political and economic conditions in the country in order to destabilise public peace and undermine trust in state institutions.

Shaath is a co-founder of Egypt's pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In November, the state security misdemeanour court sentenced lawyer and former MP Ziad El-Eleimy, another defendant in the case, to five years in prison.

El-Eleimy served as an MP representing the Egyptian Social Democratic Party in the 2012 parliament.

The court also sentenced journalists Hossam Mones and Hisham Fouad to four years in prison in the same case.

Activists Mohamed Bahnasy and Hossam Nasser received three years in the same case, and labour activist Fatma Abul-Maaty received a three-year sentence in absentia.

Those rulings are final and cannot be appealed.

In July of this year, the Court of Cassation upheld a ruling placing the 13 defendants in the case on the country's terrorism list for five years.

*This story was corrected on 4 January to reflect that the release order has not yet been implemented.

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