Egypt court sentences former FJP counsellor, journalist to 6 months-prison

A Cairo court sentenced the legal counsellor for the now-dissolved Freedom and Justice Party and a journalist at state-owned El-Gomhoreya newspaper to six months in jail for insulting and defaming former justice minister Ahmed El-Zend.

El-Zend filed a complaint after El-Gomhoreya published an interview with the counsellor, Ahmed Abu Bakr, in August 2012.

The FJP was the political arm of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group,

The general prosecution fined the former editor-in-chief of the newspaper EGP 20,000 in the Tuesday ruling for insulting the judicial authority and the former minister.

Ahmed El-Zend, the head of Egypt’s Judges Club from 2009 to 2015 and justice minister from May 2015 to March 2016, has filed a number of complaints against journalists.

In July 2016, an Egypt court has sentenced Al-Ahram journalist Ahmed Amer to one year in prison in absentia and fined the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram Arabic website, Hisham Younis, EGP 10,000 on charges of spreading false news after a 2015 complaint filed by El-Zend following an investigative report published by the website.

El-Zend was fired from his ministerial position in March 2016 after widespread criticism of comments he made regarding the Prophet Muhammed that were considered to be blasphemous.

In response to a TV host’s question on whether he would jail journalists, El-Zend said, “Even if he was a prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.”

Source: Ahram online

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