Egypt: Human rights defender sentenced to seven years' imprisonment

'This trial against human rights defender Saad Eddin Ibrahim aims to silence the human rights movement in Egypt,' Amnesty International said.

In a retrial, the Supreme State Security Court sentenced Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo, and his co-defendants to up to three years' imprisonment. Charges included accepting foreign funds without authorisation, disseminating false information harmful to Egypt's interest and embezzlement.

Amnesty International adopted Saad Eddin Ibrahim and three other human rights defenders -all of them staff members of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies - as prisoners of conscience following their conviction and imprisonment in May 2001.

Background

During June and July 2000, Saad Eddin Ibrahim and the other defendants, the majority of them staff members of two non-governmental organisations, the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies and the Egyptian Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights Voters' Support Center, were arrested and detained for days or weeks without being formally charged. By the end of August 2000 all detainees had been released from custody. The trial against the 28 men and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights began on 18 November 2000 and was attended by a number of foreign and Egyptian journalists and foreign observers, including an Amnesty International delegation.

In May 2001 the Supreme State Security Court sentenced Saad Eddin Ibrahim to seven years' imprisonment on the basis of several charges, including receiving unauthorized funding and dissemination of false information abroad. Three staff members of the Ibn Khladun Center for Development Studies were sentenced to two years' imprisonment for collaborating with Saad Eddin Ibrahim. Saad Eddin Ibrahim and the other prisoners were temporarily released after the Court of Cassation ordered a retrial in February 2002. In April 2002 the retrial was opened before another circuit of the Supreme State Security Court. Following today's verdict, those convicted may seek a final review of their case before the Court of Cassation

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