Former Egypt presidential candidate sentenced to 15 years in prison
© WikiMedia (Jonathan Rashad)
Former Egypt presidential candidate sentenced to 15 years in prison

An Egyptian emergency court Sunday sentenced former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh to 15 years in prison for “spreading false news” and undermining state security. Aboul Fotouh along with several prominent figures from the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization were also accused of plotting to overthrow the state, according to Reuters.

Aboul Fotouh ran for president of Egypt back in 2012 and was a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. His conflicting views on the role of religion in government led to Aboul Fotouh leaving the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian government outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after a coup overthrew President Mohamed Morsi.

Aboul Fotouh was arrested in February 2018 on allegations that he and others were planning to cause unrest in Egypt. The allegations contended that Aboul Fotouh was going to use his position as the leader of the Strong Egypt political party to sway the people’s opinion in hopes of sparking violent protest.

Mohamed al-Qassas of Strong Egypt received a 10-year sentence and Mahmoud Ezzat of the Muslim Brotherhood received 15 years in connection to the role they played in Aboul Fotouh’s case were also sentenced on Sunday, along with Al-Jazeera reporter Ahmed Taha, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for interviewing Aboul Fotouh.