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Urgent Action Outcome: Activist And Filmmaker Released From Detention

On 23 December 2021, Egyptian human rights activist and filmmaker Sanaa Seif was released after serving an unjust 18-month prison term in Al-Qanater Prison for women, solely stemming from her peaceful exercise of her human rights.  Sanaa Seif was convicted on bogus charges of spreading “false news”, “misusing social media” and insulting a police officer on duty.


Egyptian human rights activist Sanaa Seif was released on 23 December 2021 after serving her unjust 18-month sentence. She was seized in broad daylight on 23 June 2020 by unidentified security forces, without a warrant, from outside the Public Prosecutor’s Office where she was planning to file a complaint about a violent assault she had suffered the day before, in full view of security forces. On 17 March 2021, a Cairo Criminal Court convicted her on bogus charges of “disseminating false news”, “misuse of social media” and insulting a police officer on duty. The latter charge relates to a verbal altercation with a police officer in front of the Tora Prison Complex, when the officer pushed her mother on the day of the assault and relaying the incident on her social media.

Sanaa Seif had been publicly critical of the authorities’ mishandling of Covid-19 outbreaks in Egypt’s overcrowded and unhygienic prisons and has been calling for the release on those arbitrarily detained including her brother, prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah.

Amnesty International members and supporters signed petitions and sent letters to the Egyptian authorities calling for Sanaa Seif's release. Amnesty International will continue to monitor the situation, and campaign for the release of her brother Alaa Abdel Fattah and others detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights.

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