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2 August 2018
Galal Photo PEN International strongly condemns the Cairo Military Court’s sentence of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 10 000 Egyptian pounds (560 USD) of poet Galal El-Behairy, which violates his right to freedom of expression. On 31 July 2018, the sentence was handed down to El-Behairy for “insulting the military” and “spreading false news” on charges related to his latest book of poetry, ‘The Finest Women on Earth’.
El-Behairy also faces additional charges in a separate case investigated by the High State Security Prosecution for writing the lyrics for artist Ramy Essam’s song ‘Balaha’. On 3 March 2018, El-Behairy was arrested, beaten and tortured after the release of the song.
PEN International calls for El-Behairy’s immediate and unconditional release, to quash his sentence, and for the charges against him to be dropped.
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Send letters of appeal to the Egyptian authorities:
- Protesting the continued imprisonment of poet Galal El-Behairy and calling for his immediate and unconditional release;
- Ensure the full respect of his rights as a prisoner, in accordance with international human rights standards;
- Urging the authorities to quash his sentence and to end the judicial proceedings against El-Behairy, as he is being held solely for her peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression;
- Guarantee the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression in Egypt, including the release of all detainees held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Egypt is a State party.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,
Office of the President,
Al Ittihadia Palace,
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt,
Fax: +202 2 391 1441
Salutation: Your Excellency
Minister of Justice
Mohamed Hossam Abdel Rahim
Ministry of Justice,
Fax: +202 2 795 8103
Salutation: Dear Minister
Please send your letters via the Embassy of the Egypt in your country. Addresses may be found here.