An Egyptian court rejected an appeal filed earlier this month by prominent activist Mohamed Adel to reverse a four-year sentence over “disseminating fake news inside Egypt and abroad.”
“Adel has been sentenced to four years in prison earlier this month by a misdemeanour court in the northern Dakahlia province on charges of ‘spreading fake news on social media,'” lawyer Nabeh Elganadi, a defence team member posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday following the trial session.
Adel, a founding member and the ex-official spokesperson of the 6 April Youth Movement and one of the iconic figures of the 25 January Revolution, has already been in pre-trial detention since 2018 over different cases.
Earlier this month, 28 local and international human rights organisations jointly called for the immediate release of Adel, describing the charges against him as “bogus” and his trial as “unfair.”
Adel was arrested in June 2018 from inside the police station while serving a probation sentence in a previous case. He has been held in pre-trial detention for three separate cases with similar charges, including “being involved with an unlawful group and spreading false news.”
Legally, pre-trial detention cannot exceed two years, which, according to the rights groups, “undermined the guarantees of a fair trial.”
However, the Egyptian authorities are known for recycling dissidents in detention into new cases to extend the pre-trial time.
Local and international rights groups believe Egypt under Sisi has witnessed the worst human rights record in the country’s modern history, with an estimated 60,000 political prisoners behind bars.
Before his arrest, Adel was a vocal critic of the regime of president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his mismanagement of the country’s economy, which has materialised into an actual economic crisis, taking a heavy toll on low and average-income brackets.
Last October, the Central Bank of Egypt imposed exchange rate flexibility, allowing the value of the Egyptian pound to be regulated by market forces. The change aimed to save Egypt’s already ailing economy after securing a US$3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The US dollar is currently valued at 30.95 in banks and currency exchange offices, but it is worth about 40 EGP on the black market.
Source: The New Arab