Egypt set to release Lebanese tourist jailed over Facebook post

View of Egypt's High Court of Justice in Cairo. (Reuters)
Updated 09 September 2018
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Egypt set to release Lebanese tourist jailed over Facebook post

  • A Cairo court in July found Mona el-Mazboh guilty of deliberately spreading false rumors that would harm society
  • She published a 10-minute video in which she was complaining of sexual harassment and conditions in Egypt using explicit language

CAIRO: A Lebanese tourist who was sentenced to eight years in prison for posting a video on Facebook the authorities claimed had insulted the country is set to walk free after a court cut the prison term and suspended it, the state-run MENA news agency said on Sunday.
A Cairo court in July found Mona el-Mazboh guilty of deliberately spreading false rumors that would harm society, attacking religion, and public indecency. El-Mazboh was arrested at Cairo airport in June at the end of her stay in Egypt after a 10-minute video in which she was complaining of sexual harassment and conditions in Egypt using explicit language went viral on social media.
The court reduced her sentence to one year and suspended it, MENA said.
In the video, 24-year-old Mazboh complained of being sexually harassed by taxi drivers and young men in the street, as well as poor restaurant service during the holy month of Ramadan and an incident in which money was stolen from her during a previous stay.
Egyptian rights activists say they face the worst crackdown in their history under President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, accusing him of erasing freedoms won in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
Supporters say such measures are needed to stabilize Egypt after years of turmoil that drove away foreign investors and amid an Islamist insurgency concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula.


Netanyahu: Israel will continue operations in Syria against Iran

Updated 7 min 1 sec ago
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Netanyahu: Israel will continue operations in Syria against Iran

  • Russia said on Monday it would supply an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria in two weeks despite strong Israeli objections
  • Israel has long lobbied Moscow not to provide the S-300 to Syria

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday Israel would continue its military operations in Syria, after Russia announced it would supply an advanced anti-aircraft system to its Syrian ally.
“We will continue to act to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and we will continue the military coordination between the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and the Russian army,” Netanyahu told reporters before boarding a flight to New York, where he will address the UN General Assembly.
Russia said on Monday it would supply an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria in two weeks despite strong Israeli objections, a week after Moscow accused Israel of indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet in Syria.
Russia, which fights in Syria to support the government against rebels and militants, has said Syrian anti-aircraft batteries shot its IL-20 surveillance plane down by mistake shortly after Israeli jets hit a nearby target.
Moscow accused Israel of creating dangerous conditions that caused the incident.
Israel, which has carried out air strikes in Syria many times during the civil war, said after the incident it would work to improve “deconfliction” of its missions with Russian forces, but would not halt them.
Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. In his remarks on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he had agreed with Putin “that the working teams from the IDF and the Russian army will meet soon.”
The Israeli leader made the remarks after convening his security cabinet to discuss the tensions with Moscow.
“Over the past three years, Israel has been highly successful in preventing the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and Iranian attempts to transfer lethal weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Netanyahu said.
But he said there had been occasions when things had not gone smoothly, calling Syria’s downing of the Russian plane “tragic.”
Israel has long lobbied Moscow not to provide the S-300 to Syria, fearing this would hinder its aerial capability to strike the forces of Iran and its Hezbollah allies in Syria.