Court sentences ex Egyptian presidential candidate, Abdel Fotouh to 15 years in prison for plotting to overthrow state
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An Egyptian court has sentenced former presidential candidate, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and several prominent figures from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to lengthy jail terms on Sunday, 29th May for “spreading false news” and plotting to overthrow the state.
Aboul Fotouh, aged 70, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Sunday, subject to appeal, despite his family’s claims that he suffers from severe medical ailments.
Mohamed al-Qassas, Aboul Fotouh’s deputy leader, was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Mahmoud Ezzat, the Brotherhood’s previous top guide, was also given a 15-year term, despite the fact that he is already serving numerous life sentences on unrelated counts.
Human rights organizations have regularly criticized Egypt’s heavy sentencings and urged authorities to ensure fair hearings.
The arrests and prosecutions of Aboul Fotouh and el-Kassas, according to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, are part of a government assault on dissent that targeted not only Islamist political opponents but also pro-democracy activists, journalists, and internet critics.
Aboul Fotouh is a former senior Brotherhood figure who was expelled from the organisation in 2011 after deciding to run for president of Egypt. After criticizing President Abdel Fattah El-regime, Sissi’s he and el-Kassas were jailed in February 2018.
Moaz el-Sharqawi was similarly sentenced to ten years in prison by a Cairo court on similar allegations, including participation in a banned group known as the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt branded as a “terrorist” organization in 2013.
Following widespread protests in 2013, Egypt banned the Brotherhood after Sisi, then the army chief, led the toppling of democratically elected Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi died in 2019 after collapsing in a prison trial, and other members of the organization have been imprisoned or forced to flee the country as a result of a broad assault on political opposition that included both liberal and Islamist critics.