The Egyptian authorities have punished this Wednesday with 18 months in prison Sanaa Seif, a prominent human rights activist, for “spreading false information” about the increase in cases of coronavirus that would be occurring in prisons in the country.
Seif’s sister, Mona, has denounced through her social networks that the sentence, which may be appealed, has been issued by a Cairo court without the accused being present in the courtroom. So far, there has been no official confirmation.
Seif, 27, was arrested in June 2020 on charges of posting false news on her Facebook page about the spread of the coronavirus in Egyptian prisons. However, authorities have defended that the arrests are in accordance with the law and that the country’s courts operate independently.
The accused is also the sister of another prominent pro-democracy activist in Egypt, Allah Abdel Fatah, who has been detained since September 2019, her family alleges.
Human rights groups have denounced the increasing repression that activists and opponents, as well as other political and religious figures, have been suffering in Egypt in recent years following the coup d’état perpetrated by Abdelfatá al Sisi when he was serving as defense minister in 2014 against the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.