Thank you for supporting Amal Fathy
Thanks to everyone who took action for Amal Fathy – a women's rights activist who was jailed in Egypt for posting about her experience of sexual harassment on Facebook.
Amal was released on probation in December 2018 after seven months in detention and remains out of prison.
As an activist, Amal Fathy has been vocal about human rights violations in Egypt, especially the arbitrary detention of other activists. She is married to Mohamed Lotfy, former Amnesty International researcher, and the director of the NGO Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF).
On 9 May, Amal posted a video on her Facebook page in which she shared her experience of sexual harassment and criticised the Egyptian government for their inaction on such a prevalent issue and failing to protect women.
She also criticised the government for the crackdown on human rights, socioeconomic conditions and public services.
Raided and detained
The police raided Amal Fathy’s home at around 2.30 AM on 11 May and then detained her at Maadi police station, Cairo, along with her husband and their three-year-old child. Both of whom were released three hours later.
Charged with spreading 'false news'
On 11 May, the Maadi prosecutor ordered her detention for 15 days pending investigation on charges including “disseminating a video on social media to publicly incite overthrowing the government”, “publishing a video that includes false news that could harm public peace”, and “misusing telecommunication tools”
The next day, a Supreme State Security prosecutor interrogated her in another case about her alleged connection to the 6 April Youth Movement* and ordered her detention for an additional 15 days pending investigations for “belonging to a banned group”, “using a website to promote ideas calling for terrorist acts”, and ‘intentionally disseminating false news that could harm public security and interest’.
The prosecutor did not provide any evidence and instead relied on the National Security Agency’s report, which Amal's lawyers were not allowed to examine.
Target of a smear campaign
Since her Facebook post, Amal has been targeted by online trolls. They shared her post along with photos of her across social media, subjecting her to gender-based insults and calls for her arrest.
Several pro government and state owned media outlets released articles about the video and falsely stated that she is a 6 April Youth Movement activist working at the NGO ECRF.