Egypt - January 2023
Egypt sentences participants in the 2019 anti-government protests
On 15 January, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 38 people to life in prison due to their participation in anti-government protests that took place across the country in 2019. The sentences were the conclusion of a mass trial involving 103 defendants. Twenty-three of these individuals were tried in absentia, including Mohamed Ali, whose videos are credited with helping to inspire the protests. The verdict also included long-term prison sentences to 44 others, including 22 children, with terms ranging from five to 15 years in prison over the same allegations. The proceedings were based on anti-terrorism legislation that grants the state prosecution powers deemed unconstitutional by rights groups. The Egyptian government has in recent years jailed anyone perceived as political opponents, activists or human rights defenders, with an estimated 65,000 political prisoners in 2021, arrested for their opposition to the Sisi government.