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Filmmaker sentenced for slandering Shafiq

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Film director Ashraf Nabil gets suspended-six month prison sentence

Helwan Misdemeanour Court sentenced a film director detained by Ahmed Shafiq supporters for allegedly concocting “false news” about the former presidential candidate to a suspended six-month prison term, as well as a fine of EGP 200.

Ashraf Nabil, an independent movie director, and his crew were filming a documentary about election bribery on 11 June when he was detained by campaign staff of Shafiq.

The staff then pressed charges against Nabil for “publishing false news about a presidential candidate.”

Rawda Ahmed Al-Sayed, director of the legal support unit in the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), who is representing Nabil and his crew, told the Daily News Egypt the organisation would appeal the court’s decision.

Al-Sayed said Nabil’s case is ‘political’ and the charges are not based on a legal foundation.

“Had it been strictly legal,” Al-Sayed clarified, “it wouldn’t have gone to court in the first place due to the lack of legal conviction.”

One of Nabil’s crew members, Abdallah Hassan Meseilhy, was acquitted of all charges.

The other four defendants, including Nabil, and his assistant-director Ahmed Helmy, received a suspended six- month prison sentence, as well as a monetary fine of EGP 200.

The two remaining defendants, also members of Nabil’s crew, did not attend Wednesday’s court ruling, receiving their verdicts in absentia, according to Al-Sayed.

“We shall appeal on all the rulings.” Al-Sayed said.

The Arabic Network for Human Right Information has been closely monitoring the Nabil case, providing lawyers to represent the lawyer and his crew members in court.

Nabil, who previously has been awarded for his work by the American Islamic Congress Festival, has found himself caught in the political fray of the presidential elections, and what seems to be the politick of the former regime.


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