The Cairo Misdemeanor Court sentenced high-profile activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah to a month in prison and a LE200 fine on charges of insulting police forces while he was incarcerated, several news outlets reported on Thursday.
Abd El Fattah wrote on his Twitter account that the ruling was in fact issued in absentia months ago, and he was only informed of the sentence when he was released from prison last month. Abd El Fattah’s lawyers received the case file on Thursday, he wrote.
The prosecution maintains that during his daily walk inside the prison, Abd El Fattah stated, “May the kids of every oppressor turn orphans,” which the prison administration felt was insulting to the police.
The administration then filed a complaint against the activist and referred him to the Maadi prosecution for investigation. The prosecutor in turn sent the case to the Cairo Misdemeanor Court, without ever interrogating Abd El Fattah.
The case file includes testimonies from a soldier and a prison informant, who both alleged that Abd El Fattah slandered police officers and incited violence against them while he was detained.
Abd El Fattah was released from prison on September 15 pending investigations into the Shura Council case, in which he and 24 others are charged with violating the Protest Law. The presiding judges have recused themselves from the trial at the request of the defense team.
On Wednesday, the European Union Parliament withdrew its nomination of Abd El Fattah for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought after the US-based Wall Street Journal published an op-ed called “A dissident for hate,” accusing the activist of anti-Semitism due to his stance on Israel.
The EU had announced his nomination on September 23, alongside Moroccan rapper Mouad Belghouate and Tunisian rapper Ala Yaacoubi.
Responding on Twitter, Abd El Fattah wrote, “Withdrawing the nomination is a result of an incitement campaign against me by Zionist groups because of an anti-Israeli tweet.”