A woman who posted a video on Facebook recounting her experience of sexual harassment has been given a two-year suspended sentenced by Egyptian authorities for “spreading false news,” according to the Guardian.
Amal Fathy, an Egyptian activist, posted a 12-minute video to Facebook back in May detailing sexual harassment she faced from a taxi driver before moving on to cover broader issues of harassment and assault in Cairo, while criticizing the government for not doing enough to protect women.
Two days later, Fathy was arrested, alongside her husband, a former Amnesty International researcher, Amnesty International said in a statement then. The rights group added that it had carefully scrutinized the video — finding no evidence of wrongdoing on her part — after police went into the couple’s home at 2:30 a.m., taking their young son with them, to the police station. Her husband and son were soon released, but she was kept in prison during her trial.
However, according to the Independent, Fathy remains in prison as she awaits further charges — even though she has already been tried and given a suspended sentence — including “misusing social media networks to spread material that could hurt Egypt’s security and public interest and another of belonging to an outlawed group.”
One of her defense lawyers told the Independent Fathy was extremely upset by the sentence. “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,” a defense lawyer for the activist, Doaa Mustafa, said.
“This is an outrageous case of injustice, where the survivor is sentenced while the abuser remains at large. She 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. She is not a criminal and should not be punished for her bravery,” Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns director said in a statement after news of Fathy’s continued imprisonment broke Saturday.