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Egypt's prosecution refers Lebanese tourist to urgent criminal court over insulting Egyptians in viral video

Ahram Online , Sunday 3 Jun 2018
Mona El-Mazbouh
Screenshot of Lebanese tourist Mona El-Mazbouh from her second video while apologizing to Egyptians

Egypt's prosecution referred a Lebanese tourist on Sunday to urgent criminal court on charges of "deliberately broadcasting false rumors which aim to undermine society and attack religions," after she harshly criticized the country in a video that went viral on social media.

In an official statement sent to Ahram Online, the general prosecution said it charged Mona Al-Mazbouh with "producing and broadcasting content which is indecent through her personal profile on Facebook."

A Cairo appeals prosecutor has ordered Al-Mazbouh's detention for 15 days pending investigation.

The order comes just one day after the tourist was handed a four-day detention order by Egypt's general prosecutor.

Al-Mazbouh was arrested on Thursday at Cairo International Airport as she was on her way to board a flight out of the country.

The tourist's 10-minute profanity-laden tirade about Egyptians went viral on social media shortly after it was uploaded.

Al-Mazbouh said in the video that her anger towards Egyptians was exacerbated after she suffered verbal harassment by two men on a street in Cairo's affluent Zamalek neighbourhood.

During the video, Al-Mazbouh angrily referred to Egyptians as beggars and con men, and described Egyptian women as "prostitutes."

One day after posting the video, Al-Mazbouh removed the post and uploaded another video where she apologized "only to the respectful" Egyptians that have shown her support, while attacking Facebook users who insulted her through private messages.

Shortly after the video went viral, Egyptian lawyer Amr Abdel-Salam filed a complaint with the prosecutor-general charging Al-Mazbouh with defaming and insulting the Egyptian people in accordance with articles 302 and 308 of the criminal penal code. 

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