Mahienour El-Massry sentenced to two years in prison
On 30 December, lawyer Mahienour El-Massry was sentenced to two years in prison on charges related to her alleged participation in a protest against the government’s transfer of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia in June 2016. According to our information, the appeal hearing in her case will take place on 13 January 2018.
Mahienour El-Massry is a prominent human rights lawyer known for her work to promote judicial independence and prisoners’ rights. In 2014, she was awarded with the renowned Ludovic Trarieux Prize for her outstanding efforts to advance human rights.
On 18 November 2017, Mahienour El-Massry attended a session of the Misdemeanour court in Alexandria in relation to her alleged participation in a protest against the government’s transfer of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia in June 2016. The court adjourned the case until 30 December 2017, and also ordered the two defendants that were present, Ms. El-Massry and Mr. Moatasem Medhat, to remain in custody pending trial. The case also concerns human rights lawyer Asmaa Naeem, lawyer Waleed El Ammary and Zeyad Abou Fadl. The five of them were accused of “participating in an unauthorized protest”, “insulting the President” and thuggery.
This is not the first time Mahiebour el-Massry was arrested. Since 2014, she has spent lengthy periods in Egyptian prison under difficult circumstances. In 2015, she was sentenced to one year and three months imprisonment on charges of, amongst others, “assaulting security forces”.
Lawyers for Lawyers believes that the arrest of Mahienour El-Massry is part of a wider crackdown by the Egyptian authorities against human rights defenders, lawyers, and independent civil society. In 2017 several lawyers, including Khaled Ali, Tarek Hussein, Mohamed Ramadan en Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, were arrested. Lawyers for Lawyers called on the Egyptian authorities to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mahienour El-Massry, and to immediate release her and drop all the charges against her.
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