Egyptian activist Sanaa Seif jailed for 1.5 years

Egyptian activist Sanaa Seif sentenced to 1.5 years in prison
2 min read
17 March, 2021
Seif was arrested last year after traveling to the notorious Tora prison to deliver a letter to her jailed brother.
Seif was arrested in June last year [Twitter]

Prominent Egyptian activist Sanaa Seif has been sentenced to a year-and-a-half in prison, a relative said on Wednesday.

Her aunt, the author Ahdaf Soueif, announced the news on Twitter without providing further details.

Seif has been held in prison since June last year when she was arrested outside the Prosecutor General's office while attempting to submit a criminal complaint.

A day earlier, Seif, her sister Mona, and her mother Laila were beaten and robbed outside Cairo's Tora prison, where they had travelled to request a letter from her brother - the jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah - after not hearing from him in three months.

The 27-year-old activist was charged with disseminating "false" information regarding Covid-19 at Cairo's notorious Tora prison, where her brother is being held.

Seif was also accused of harming the "status and honour" of a public employee working at the prison.

Read more: A family portrait of Egypt's revolutionary struggle

Human rights groups have condemned the treatment of Seif and her brother Abdel Fattah, who was a key figure in the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Abdel Fattah was rearrested in September 2019 just months after being released from serving a five-year sentence.

"Sanaa Seif and her family have suffered years of harassment and intimidation for their human rights activism," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's MENA Research and Advocacy Director.

"The fact that Sanaa Seif was taken from right outside the Public Prosecutor's office shows just how brazen the Egyptian security forces have become," he said last year.

Egypt has increasingly targeted government critics in a crackdown on dissent and free speech since the 2013 military ouster of the country's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

The clampdown has swept up thousands of the late Morsi's Islamist supporters as well as secular activists, lawyers, journalists and academics.

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