Egypt's court sentences rights lawyer Khaled Ali to 3 months in prison for offending public decency

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Monday 25 Sep 2017

The lawyer and former presidential candidate was found guilty of making an indecent gesture outside the State Council headquarters in January

Khaled ALi
A file photo of Khaled Ali from the protest in January where he is accusing of raising his middle finger in public (Photo:Reuters)

A Giza misdemeanor court on Monday sentenced prominent human rights lawyer and 2012 presidential candidate Khaled Ali to three months in prison for offending public decency, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

Ali has announced his intention to appeal the first-degree court ruling and has been granted bail of EGP 1,000 pending the outcome.

The lawyer was charged with offending public decency after allegedly making the middle-finger gesture outside the State Council headquarters in January.

The reported incident occured as a crowd gathered to celebrate a successful court ruling won by Ali against the April 2016 Egypt-Saudi border demarcation agreement that placed the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir with Saudia Arabian territory.

The case against Ali was filed by lawyer Samir Sabry.

Shortly after Monday's ruling, Ali took to Facebook to criticize the conduct of the trial, accusing the court of ignoring the defence team's requests and issuing the verdict without hearings.

"We will appeal the verdict, but not out of fear of prison. We are not better than those youths who paid the price with their own lives inside prison for defending the Egyptian identity of Tiran and Sanafir," said the lawyer.

Ali spearheaded a legal challenge to the Egypt-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement, claiming that the two Red Sea islands were Egyptian territory and could not be transferred to Saudi Arabia by way of such an agreement.

The well-known human rights lawyer ran for president in Egypt's 2012 presidential elections.

Should he lose his appeal against Monday's verdict, he will be unable to run in the 2018 presidential elections, according to Egypt's Presidential Elections Law.

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