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An Egyptian appeals courtroom upholds a 6-month sentence in opposition to a fierce authorities critic

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An Egyptian appeals courtroom has upheld a six-month jail sentence for a fierce authorities critic who was convicted of defamation

ByThe Related Press

October 7, 2023, 12:29 PM

CAIRO — An Egyptian appeals courtroom on Saturday upheld a six-month jail sentence for a fierce authorities critic who was convicted of defamation final month in a case that stemmed from a web based spat.

Hisham Kassem, who’s a number one official with the Free Present, a coalition of largely liberal events, was convicted of insulting and defaming Kamal Abu Eita, a former labor minister and opposition determine. He was additionally convicted of verbally assaulting a police officer.

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Kassem was sentenced final month to 6 months in jail and fined 20,000 Egyptian kilos (round $647), in accordance with Hossam Bahgat, head of the Egyptian Initiative for Private Rights, which represents Kassem earlier than the courtroom.

He appealed the sentence on the courtroom of appeals which confirmed the decision on Saturday, Bahgat mentioned.

Kassem, who for many years ran a collection of stories shops that helped maintain alive pockets of unbiased free press in Egypt, was arrested in August after prosecutors questioned him about accusations leveled by Abu Eita.

Initially, prosecutors ordered Kassem’s launch on the situation that he pay bail of 5,000 Egyptian kilos ($161). However Kassem refused to pay and was taken to a police station in Cairo, the place he was allegedly verbally abusive towards law enforcement officials.

Kassem and his attorneys rejected the accusations.

The case drew condemnation from rights teams and renewed international consideration towards Egypt’s poor human rights document. Amnesty Worldwide mentioned the costs have been politically motivated.

Egypt, an in depth U.S. ally, has waged a widescale crackdown on dissent over the previous decade, jailing hundreds of individuals. Most of these imprisoned are supporters of Islamist former President Mohammed Morsi, however the crackdown has additionally swept up distinguished secular activists.

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