NewsAfricathe leader of the liberal opposition sentenced to six months in prison

    the leader of the liberal opposition sentenced to six months in prison

    Hicham Kassem, leader of the liberal opposition in Egypt, was sentenced on Saturday to six months in prison. This conviction, which comes a few months before the presidential election scheduled for spring 2024, prevents him from participating in the campaign. A call will take place on October 7.

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    The verdict is in. An Egyptian court sentenced Hicham Kassem, leader of the liberal opposition, to six months in prison on Saturday September 16, effectively preventing him from participating in the campaign for the presidential election scheduled for spring 2024.

    Already the day before, the only candidate already in the campaign, Ahmed al-Tantawi, revealed that his phone had been tapped since September 2021, after the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto established the presence of spyware there. .

    Hicham Kassem was sentenced to “three months firm and 20,000 Egyptian pounds (around 600 euros) fine” for “defamation” against a former minister and “three months firm for contempt of agents” during his interrogation in the context of the first case”, reports on X Gameela Ismaïl, one of the executives of the Free Movement, the opposition coalition led by Hicham Kassem.

    A call will take place on October 7, specifies on Facebook Nasser Amin, the lawyer of this figure of the opposition and the defense of human rights in Egypt. Hicham Kassem, 64, has been detained since August 20 and has been on hunger strike since then to protest his incarceration.

    Egypt, 135e country out of 140 in the World Justice Project’s global rule of law rankings, has thousands of political detainees.

    “National Dialogue”

    While President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, in power since he deposed the Islamist Mohamed Morsi in 2013, intends to run even if he has not yet officially announced it according to observers, Cairo seemed to concessions to appease the opposition.

    The regime has launched a major “national dialogue” intended to give voice to an opposition that has been muzzled and reduced to nothing by arrests for a decade. He also relaunched his presidential pardons committee.

    Several opposition figures have been released from prison with great fanfare in recent months. But, note the NGOs, if the presidential pardons committee released a thousand prisoners of conscience, “three times more were arrested” at the same time.

    See alsoEgypt: Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in power for 10 years, freedom of expression stifled

    For Gameela Ismaïl, “Hicham Kassem had been bothering the regime for a long time because he denounced in particular the role of the army in the Egyptian economy”, which had been in free fall for months.

    The Free Movement says it reserves the right to “escalation” and its executives raise the possibility of freezing their activities and boycotting the presidential election or the national dialogue.

    As for Ahmed al-Tantawi, he says he is “determined” to continue his campaign despite the fact that “in recent days the pace and severity of illegal and immoral actions undertaken by the security forces against (his) campaign have intensified “.

    “At least 35 members of his campaign were arrested in less than three weeks in 13 different provinces,” the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) reported on Friday.

    American military aid

    This NGO, the largest human rights NGO in Egypt, withdrew from the national dialogue on Wednesday to protest “the arrest of one of the participants in the dialogue”, Mohammed Zahran, founder of the Independent National Union of Egyptian Teachers.

    The Democratic Civil Movement, a coalition bringing together the Free Movement and other opposition parties, particularly on the left, has been warning for days against an “explosion” in the most populous Arab country, stifled between inflation and devaluation and now the second country in the world at risk of defaulting on its debt.

    “Egypt will not tolerate a third term,” he warned. Delaying “change” will bring the country “to the brink of explosion.”

    Washington recently approved most of its military aid to Egypt, “creating an artificial choice between national security and human rights”, Human Rights Watch charged on Saturday.

    The $1.215 billion package marks the third straight year that Joe Biden’s administration has waived some congressionally imposed restrictions on aid to Egypt, despite Biden’s pledges to uphold human rights at the heart of United States foreign policy.

    Washington blocked an additional $85 million conditional on the release of political prisoners.

    With AFP

    Source: France 24

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    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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