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Egypt: Three Individuals Sentenced for Posting Signs Saying “No to the New Constitution”

(Feb. 27, 2014) On February 25, 2014, an Egyptian Court of First Instance punished three political activists with three years of imprisonment for posting signs saying “No to the New Constitution.” The activists were tried in absentia; their whereabouts are apparently unknown. The court also fined the activists 500 Egyptian pounds each (about US$72). (Three Years for Activists Accused of Saying “No to the Constitution” [in Arabic], MASRESS.COM (Feb. 25, 2014).)

Article 98(b) of the Egyptian Penal Code punishes individuals who possess posters, signs, and brochures that promote a change of constitutional principles, changes in the fundamental social and economic systems, or changes among social classes with a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years and a fine of from 50 to 500 Egyptian pounds. (Egyptian Penal Code, Law No. 58-1937 (as last amended by Law No. 95-2003) [in Arabic] MOHAMOON.COM (last visited Feb. 27, 2014).)

The three activists had been arrested by security forces in January 2014 while posting the signs, but were later released. (Three Years for Activists Accused of Saying “No to the Constitution,” supra.)