Egypt court sentences former presidential candidate Ahmed Tantawy to one year in prison News
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Egypt court sentences former presidential candidate Ahmed Tantawy to one year in prison

The Matareya Misdemeanor Court of Appeal upheld former Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Tantawy’s sentence of one year in prison for incitement and assistance in the crime of printing and circulating electoral process papers without permission, his lawyer announced on Monday.

Tantawy and his electoral campaign director Mohamed Abu El-Diya were both initially sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, and both bailed out pending appeal with 20,000 Egyptian pounds in February. Tantawy was also banned from running for parliamentary elections for five years. The court further imprisoned 21 members of his campaign with the same sentence.

According to a post published on his X (formerly Twitter) account, Tantawy said during the trial that he bears full responsibility for his electoral campaign and urged the court to acquit and release all defendants involved in the case immediately.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) senior Middle East and North Africa researcher Amr Magdi stated following the February ruling:

The Egyptian authorities should immediately throw out the abusive charges against Tantawy and his supporters, which are nothing more than retaliation for his peaceful campaign to challenge President Sisi…By barring Tantawy from running in future elections, the authorities are sending a clear message that no serious challenge to Sisi will be tolerated.

The charges against Tantawy were brought in accordance with Decree-Law 45/2014 on the Regulation of the Exercise of Political Rights, which prohibits “printing or distributing, in any way, election ballots or documents used in the electoral process” and sets a minimum sentence of one year in prison. HRW condemned the use of the law and stressed its incompatibility with the rights to freedom of expression and association as protected under international human rights law.