Egypt: Jailing of Activist Sanaa Seif ‘One other Crushing Blow’ for Human Rights

  • Movie editor jailed for ‘unfounded info’ and insulting a police officer
  • Alongside alongside with her mom and sister, used to be attacked by mob with connivance of police
  • ‘At the present time’s verdict is but but any other crushing blow for the handsome to freedom of expression in Egypt’ – Amna Guellali

Responding to at the present time’s jailing of the worthy Egyptian human rights activist and movie editor Sanaa Seif after she used to be convicted of spreading “unfounded info”, “misusing social media” and insulting a police officer on accountability, Amna Guellali, Amnesty World’s Heart East Deputy Director, acknowledged:

“At the present time’s verdict is but but any other crushing blow for the handsome to freedom of expression in Egypt.

“The Egyptian authorities grasp over over again demonstrated their unrelenting intent to punish any criticism of their rotten human rights yarn.

“The Egyptian authorities need to all of a sudden open Sanaa Seif and urgently open an investigation into the violent assault on her and her family, including the complicity of security forces in the assault.”

Following at the present time’s conviction – by the 10th South Cairo Prison Court – Seif used to be sentenced to 1-and-a-half of years in jail.

Seized by unidentified security forces

Sanaa Seif used to be seized in giant daylight hours on 23 June 2020 by unidentified security forces, with out a warrant, from outdoors the Public Prosecutor’s Online page of labor where she used to be intending to file a grievance about an assault she suffered the day before at the present time.

On 22 June, Seif had been outdoors the Tora Penal advanced Complex in Cairo, ready to net a letter from her arbitrarily-detained brother, the activist Alaa Abdel Fattah. Her mom, Laila Soueif, and her sister, Mona Seif, grasp been alongside with her. A neighborhood of girls approached the family and beat them with sticks, tore their dresses, dragged them to the ground and stole some of their property. One policeman reportedly pushed Laila Soueif in direction of the assailants. The assault left considered marks on the girls’s our bodies, as shown by photos examined by Amnesty.

Amnesty has additionally examined Seif’s arrest tell and realized that it entails fabricated knowledge, claiming she used to be arrested at a checkpoint and used to be shown an arrest warrant. Up to now, the Egyptian authorities grasp did now not research the legality of either her arrest or the assault in opposition to her family.

‘Disseminating unfounded info’

Sanaa Seif used to be convicted on expenses of “disseminating unfounded info”, “misuse of social media” and insulting a police officer on accountability. The latter price relates to a verbal altercation with a police officer when he pushed her mom on the day of the assault and her relaying of the incident on social media.

Amnesty has reviewed the evidence in opposition to Seif – including comments posted on-line in regards to the 22 June assault – and realized the criticism she expressed did now not amount to advocacy of hatred constituting incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. Beneath global law, “insult” is never any longer a recognisable offence and would now not elaborate limitations on freedom of expression.

Seif has been critical of the authorities’ mishandling of COVID-19 outbreaks in Egypt’s overcrowded and unhygienic prisons, and has been calling for the open of these arbitrarily detained, including her brother Alaa Abdel Fattah.

Since 2014, Seif has been jailed in the case of 2 other cases where she has exercised her rights to freedom of quiet assembly and expression.

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