Lebanese tourist accused of ‘insulting Egypt’ sentenced to 8 years in jail

Mona el-Mazboh Lebanese tourist arrested 1

A Lebanese tourist accused of “insulting Egypt” on a viral video has been sentenced to 8 years in prison by a Cairo court, Al Jazeera reported.

Mona El-Mazboh, 24, was arrested last month after posting a Facebook video complaining of sexual harassment and poor conditions in Egypt.

Egyptian authorities deemed the comments illegal, and transferred the tourist to jail pending a criminal trial.

El-Mazboh was sentenced with 8 years in prison with hard labor, and ordered to pay a $600 fine, the Egyptian Independent reported.

The profanity-laced video, which has since been removed, included comments that Egypt was a “lowly, dirty country,” and “Egyptian men are pimps and women prostitutes,” Al Jazeera added.

She also called Egypt a “son of a b—- country,” and said she “hopes God sends (Egyptians) someone more oppressive than Sisi,” referring to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The court argued that El-Mazboh deliberately spread “false rumors” that would harm society, and attacked religion and the Egyptian government.

Mona El-Mazboh responds to controversy in a second video posted to her Facebook. (YouTube screenshot)
Mona El-Mazboh responds to controversy in a second video posted to her Facebook. (YouTube screenshot)

Her attorney argued that she suffered from neurological and psychological disorders, including depression, which impaired her ability to control anger.

El-Mazbouh’s attorney Emad Kamal said he would appeal the sentence.

“Of course, God willing, the verdict will change. With all due respect to the judiciary, this is a severe ruling,” Kamal told Al Jazeera. “It is in the context of the law, but the court was applying the maximum penalty.”

Shortly after the first video went viral, El-Mazboh posted a second video apologizing to “respectable Egyptians” for her comments.

Egyptian rights activists believe the arrest and sentence is an intense crackdown of Internet censorship.

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