Lebanese woman jailed in Cairo for eight years for 'harming the Egyptian people'
A Lebanese tourist who was arrested last month for posting a video on Facebook complaining of sexual harassment and conditions in Egypt has been sentenced to eight years in prison by a Cairo court.
Mona el-Mazboh was arrested at Cairo airport at the end of her stay in Egypt after a 10-minute video in which she called Egypt a "son of a bitch country" went viral on social media.
The 24-year-old Mazboh complained of being sexually harassed by taxi drivers and young men in the street, as well as poor restaurant service during the holy month of Ramadan and an incident in which money was stolen from her during a previous stay.
The allegations drew a strong reaction online, with some Egyptians calling for Mazboh's arrest and lodging a complaint against her.
Despite releasing a second video insisting she had not meant to insult the country as a whole, a Cairo court found her guilty on Saturday of deliberately spreading false rumours that would harm society, attacking religion, and public indecency, judicial sources said.
Initially she was sentenced to 11 years in prison, but that was amended within hours to eight years, a judicial source said.
An appeal court will now hear the case on 29 July, according to Mazboh's lawyer, Emad Kamal.
"Of course, God willing, the verdict will change. With all due respect to the judiciary, this is a severe ruling. It is in the context of the law, but the court was applying the maximum penalty," he said.
Kamal said Mazboh underwent surgery in 2006 to remove a brain clot that has impaired her ability to control anger, a condition documented in a medical report he submitted to the court. She also suffers from depression, he said.
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