Monday,24 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1409, (13-19 September 2018)
Monday,24 September, 2018
Issue 1409, (13-19 September 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Statement condemned
UN HIGH Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s criticisms of the trial of defendants in the Rabaa sit-in dispersal case provoked a furious response from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Sunday.

Bachelet issued a statement saying “if carried out, the sentences would represent a gross and irreversible miscarriage of justice”. She urged Egypt to “overturn the mass death sentences” in what she characterised as “an unfair trial”.

“The UN Commissioner deviated from the principles of objectivity and professionalism and overstepped the boundaries of her authority,” the Foreign Ministry said in reply.

Bachelet’s statement was issued a day after a Cairo Criminal Court confirmed the death sentences passed in July against 75 defendants in the case. They include leading Brotherhood officials Mohamed Al-Beltagi, Essam Al-Erian and Abdel-Rahman Al-Barr. The court issued life sentences to 47 other defendants, including the Botherhood’s supreme guide Mohamed Badie. A further 374 defendants were sentenced to 15 years and 23 defendants, including former president Mohamed Morsi’s son Osama, received ten year sentences.

An additional 215 defendants who have already spent five years behind bars received five-year jail terms on Saturday and will now be released on five years’ probation. They include freelance photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan, who was arrested while taking photos of the sit-in. Charges were dropped against five defendants who died during the course of the trial.

The case followed the forced dispersal in August 2013 of a sit-in staged at Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square by supporters of Islamist ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The defendants were referred to trial in August 2015 on charges of staging a gathering that threatened security and public order, premeditated murder, sabotage, blocking roads, opposing the 30 June Revolution and attempting to topple the state.


Sentence reduced
ON SUNDAY the sentence passed against Lebanese national Mona Al-Mazbouh was reduced on appeal to a one-year suspended jail term. Al-Mazbouh was accused of insulting Egypt in a 10-minute video posted on her Facebook account.

In the video Al-Mazbouh recounted the verbal sexual harassment she had experienced during a vacation in Egypt, referring to Egyptians as beggars and Egyptian women as prostitutes. The court upheld a LE 10,700 fine imposed on the defendant.

In July, Mazbouh was handed an eight year prison sentence. She was arrested at Cairo Airport in June as she was leaving Egypt. The prosecution accused her of “deliberately broadcasting false rumours that could undermine society and attacked religion and producing content considered a disgrace to public modesty”.

Following the posting of the controversial video several complaints were filed against Al-Mazbouh demanding she be referred to urgent trial.

During Sunday’s appeal Al-Mazbouh’s lawyer asked the court to take her client’s apology into consideration and clear her of the charges. Before her arrest Al-Mazbouh had posted a video on her Facebook page apologising for any offence she had caused.


Kuwaiti jailed
A KUWAITI criminal court has sentenced a male citizen to 17 years in prison after he physically assaulted an Egyptian expatriate worker at a car repair shop in the Shuwaikh Industrial District.

The case dates from December 2017 when the Kuwaiti customer asked Egyptian worker Wahid Mahmoud Refai for a spare part for a motorcycle. Refai was on his lunch break and asked the man to wait until he finishes his meal. The customer then knocked Refai to the ground, hitting him with a stick and kicking his head. The assault was filmed on CCTV.


Criminal graft
CAIRO Criminal Court handed Mubarak-era senior official Safwat Al-Sherif a three year jail term, while acquitting his son Ihab in the retrial of a ling running corruption case. The court also imposed a fine of LE 99 million on Al-Sherif and ordered him to pay the same amount on behalf of his family. A ten-year jail term handed to Sherif’s second son Ashraf was upheld.

In June, Al-Sherif handed four pieces of lands in Fayed city in Ismailia governorate valued at LE 44 million to the government, in an attempt to secure an end to the case.

In 2016, the court of cassation overturned the five-year prison sentence against Al-Sherif and his first son Ihab, the ten-year sentence passed against his second son and a joint fine of LE 209 million, and ordered a retrial.

The ruling was issued in absentia and can be appealed.
    
Compiled by
Mona El-Nahhas

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