Egyptian woman sentenced for posting a Facebook video saying she was sexually harassed

Judgement branded 'outrageous case of injustice' by human rights campaigners

A female activist has been handed a two year suspended sentence by an Egyptian court, after she posted a video decrying sexism in the country.

However, Amal Fathy will not walk free from jail following the verdict, as she is being held on further charges.

Her suspended sentence was handed down for insulting employees at a bank and using abusive language to criticise government institutions and decry the sexual harassment of women.

The pending charges include one of misusing social media networks to spread material that could hurt Egypt's security and public interest and another of belonging to an outlawed group.

"Membership in an outlawed group" is a term used to refer to any ties to a range of groups banned by the Egyptian government.

"I went to see her after the verdict," Doaa Mustafa, one of the activist's defence lawyers, said.

"She was squatting at the far end of the cell, crying and screaming. She was trembling and did not want anyone to come near her."

Ms Fathy was detained by authorities in May after posting her video online.

In the clip she criticises the Egyptian state for deteriorating public services and unchallenged sexual harassment.

The activist talked about alleged harassment she had faced at the branch of a local state-owned bank.

She also used profanities in the clip.

Ms Fathy was arrested with her husband, activist Mohammed Lotfi, and their son, Ziad, who turned three last month.

Her husband and child were released several hours after being detained.

Amnesty International criticised the verdict, saying it was an "outrageous case of injustice."

Ms Fathy is a "human rights defender and sexual harassment survivor, who told her truth to the world and highlighted the vital issue of women's safety in Egypt," the organisation said in a statement.

"She is not a criminal and should not be punished for her bravery."

The activist joins a number of outspoken figures arrested in Egypt after speaking out against the government.

Earlier this month a court sentenced 75 protesters to death and dozens more to life behind bars in a mass trial over a 2013 protest in support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Since taking power in 2013 Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has overseen a crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of Islamists along with secular advocates, imposing tight control of the media and rolling back freedoms won in a popular 2011 uprising.

Associated Press contributed to this report

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in