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News code: 25993
Published Date: Sunday 8 July 2018 - 12:45:07
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Egypt sentences Lebanese tourist to 8 years in prison for Facebook video

Egypt sentences Lebanese tourist to 8 years in prison for Facebook video
World  - An Egyptian court sentenced a Lebanese tourist to eight years in prison on Saturday after she posted a video tirade on her Facebook page that Egyptian authorities claimed had insulted the country and its leader.

The news website Ahram reported that Mona el-Mazbouh was initially handed an 11-year sentence and a fine after she was convicted of "deliberately broadcasting false rumors which aim to undermine society and attack religions." But her sentence was immediately reduced to eight years.

Under Egyptian law, "defaming and insulting the Egyptian people" is a crime.

In the May post on her Facebook page, which went viral, Ms. Mazbouh described being harassed by two men on the street of Cairo's upscale Zamalek neighborhood and being ill-treated by a taxi driver. She called President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi "unjust" and Egypt a "son of a bitch country," according to Reuters, which reported on the video before it was removed.

"You deserve what Sisi is doing to you. I hope God sends you someone more oppressive than Sisi," she said in the original clip. She also made derogatory comments about Egyptians.

Ms. Mazbouh took the video down from her Facebook page, but not before it had spread widely on Egyptian social media. The backlash was swift. The clip was quickly copied from her page and still appears on other social networks. It angered some Egyptians on social media, who called for her arrest.

The day before being detained, she posted a second video on Facebook apologizing to Egyptians she had offended.

"I definitely didn't mean to offend all Egyptians, and never meant to say anything about the country's political affairs," Ms. Al-Mazbouh said in the video, where she is seen sniffling and wearing sunglasses. "I love all Egyptians and I love this country. That's why I visited it more than once and I keep coming back."

The following day, Ms. Mazbouh was arrested at Cairo airport on June 2 as she prepared to board a plane out of the country, according to Ahram.

Critics of the decision said her sentencing is not only disproportionate, but a bad public relations move for a country looking to boost its international image.

 

News Code: 25993
Published Date: Sunday 8 July 2018 - 12:45:07
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