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Thursday, 06 May 2021

Egyptian activist Sanaa Seif sentenced for 18 months over ‘spreading false news’

In June 2020, the State Security Prosecution ordered her arrest on charges of spreading false news on her personal Facebook page

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 17 Mar 2021
Sanaa Seif
Activist Sanaa Seif (social media)
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A Cairo criminal court sentenced renowned Egyptian activist Sanaa Seif on Wednesday for a year and a half in prison over spreading false news, a statement said.

This is a first-degree sentence that can be appealed.

In June 2020, the State Security Prosecution ordered her arrest on charges of spreading false news on her personal page on the social networking site Facebook.

Seif was referred to the criminal court while charged with deliberately spreading false statements and news that would spread fear among people.

According to the referral decision, Seif during the period from 22 April till 20 June deliberately shared fake news about the alleged spread of the pandemic inside Egyptian prisons and the absence of precautionary measures inside them.

The Interior Ministry frequently denied similar allegations and published photos and videos for the disinfection campaigns inside prisons.

This is the third sentence the 27-year-old Seif has been handed since 2013.

Following her arrest in 2020, an international campaign was launched calling for her release, including a campaign involving a number of US and UK stars and intellectuals such as Thandie Newton, Naomi Harris, Dame Judi Dench, TV host Amy Goodman, and Noam Chomsky.

The young activist is the daughter of late human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif El-Islam; her sister Mona Seif is also a human rights activist, and her brother — Alaa Abdel-Fattah — is a blogger, who is currently detained pending investigations into a number of charges, including “spreading false news” and “joining an outlawed group”.

Seif was sentenced to three years in prison and received a presidential pardon in September 2015 after having served 15 months.

Moreover, she was sentenced to six-months in prison in 2016 for “insulting the judiciary”.

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