December 31, 2018 / 3:40 AM / 24 days ago

Two-year sentence upheld for Egyptian activist who posted critical video

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian appeals court on Sunday imposed a two-year prison sentence against an activist who accused authorities in a video of not protecting women from sexual harassment, her husband said, days after she was freed over a separate case.

The latest ruling means Amal Fathy could be arrested at “any time”, pending an appeal to Egypt’s court of cassation, her husband Mohamed Lotfy said.

She had been detained in May days after she posted a 12-minute video expressing her anger at poor service at a bank, heavy traffic, sexual harassment by a taxi driver and a deterioration in living conditions.

Charged with spreading false news, undermining national security and publishing an indecent video, Fathy was handed a two-year jail sentence and fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($557) in September — though the sentence was suspended pending an appeal.

Lotfy, the director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, said authorities had never told Fathy what the charges in the second case - in which she was accused of being a “member of a terrorist group” and other offences - related to.

She was released from pre-trial detention in that case on Thursday on condition she checked into a police station once a week and only left her home for medical reasons, Lotfy said.

Amnesty International called the latest ruling an “outrageous injustice”.

“The fact that a survivor of sexual harassment is being punished with a two-year prison sentence simply for speaking out about her experience is utterly disgraceful,” the rights group said in a statement.

Fathy, who has a three-year old-child, is a member of the now banned April 6 youth movement, which played a role in 2011 mass protests that forced President Hosni Mubarak from office.

($1 = 17.9575 Egyptian pounds)

Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Alison Williams

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