Dokki Misdemeanor Court sentenced on Monday activist Khaled Ali to three months in prison and to pay bail of EGP 1,000 on accusations of offending public decency.
The case against Ali began in January, when lawyer Samir Sabry filed the lawsuit against Ali, accusing him of making an offensive gesture amid security forces securing the State Council headquarters on the verdict day of the case known as the “Red Sea islands”.
This came following a photograph circulated on social media showing Ali making an inappropriate hand gesture, which one local news outlet reported was just a “coincidence” that the photographer captured Ali cheering with the crowd after the court announced that the two islands belonged to Egypt.
Ali was one of the lawyers defending the Red Sea islands case in opposition to the government’s stance, which defended the agreement of transferring the sovereignty of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.
The lawyer said that he will appeal the decision, as it came “surprising and without any pleading by the defence team, and despite the submission of technical reports showing manipulation in the video presented” to the court during investigations.
On 24 May, the General Prosecution released Ali with a bail of EGP 1,000 pending trial after a five-hour investigation over the lawsuit.
Ali was a former candidate in the presidential election of 2012 and was expected to run for the upcoming presidential election; however, in accordance with Egypt’s Presidential Elections Law, he would not able to run in the election if the court rejected his appeal.
The lawyer is widely known for advocating labour rights and fighting corruption.