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14th January 2019, 11:00:13 UTC

Woman human rights defender, Amal Fathy, posted a video on her Facebook page in which she shared her experience of sexual harassment and criticised the government over its failure to address the issue.

Update: An Egyptian court has upheld a two-year prison sentence against Amal Fathy.

The fact that a survivor of sexual harassment is being punished with a two-year prison sentence simply for speaking out about her experience is utterly disgraceful. This verdict makes a mockery of justice and should be a stain on the conscience of the Egyptian authorities. Amal Fathy had been in pre-trial detention in relation to a separate case against her in which she is charged with being a “member of a terrorist group” among other offences. On 27 December, Amal was released on probation, requiring her to spend an hour at a police station on a weekly basis and confining her to her place of residence except for when she needs to attend medical appointments. She is now under house arrest.

The court convicted Amal on three accounts and sentenced her to one year for each of the charges of “spreading false news with intent to harm the Egyptian state” and possessing “indecent material”, and given a fine of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (560 USD) for making “public insults”- all of this for posting a Facebook video in which she decries sexual harassment and criticizes the Egyptian authorities for failing to protect women.

Amal Fathy had already spent nearly 5 months in prison since her arbitrary arrest. Her lawyers paid a bail and fine to suspend her sentence, however Amal Fathy remains imprisoned as the state security prosecutor renewed her pre-trial detention in a second case against her for 15 more days on 27 September. Amal is facing additional charges in a separate case including “belonging to a terrorist group,” “broadcasting ideas calling for terrorist acts” and “publishing false news”. On 14 October, the State Security prosecutor will decide on whether to renew her detention for 15 more days.

Amal Fathy posted a video on her Facebook page in which she shared her experience of sexual harassment, highlighted the prevalence of the issue in Egypt, and criticised the government’s failure to protect women. She also criticised the government for the crackdown on human rights, socio-economic conditions, and public services. She was arrested two days later.

Amal Fathy was detained by police on 11 May 2018 after she posted a video on her Facebook page in which sheAmnesty International considers Amal Fathy to be a prisoner of conscience detained solely for the peaceful exercise of her right to freedom of expression
Amnesty International considers Amal Fathy to be a prisoner of conscience.

Take urgent action to call for Amal Fathy’s release.

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