Egypt releases Lebanese tourist who complained about sexual harassment


Mazboh was arrested at Cairo airport at end of her stay in late May (Reuters/ File photo)

A Lebanese tourist who was jailed after Egyptian authorities said she insulted the country in a Facebook video post where she complained about sexual harassment has been released and left the country, her lawyer said on Thursday.

Mona el-Mazboh was arrested at Cairo airport at the end of her stay in late May in Egypt after a 10-minute video in which she called Egypt a “son of a bitch country” went viral on social media.

She was sentenced to eight years in prison in July after being found guilty of spreading false rumours that would harm society, attacking religion and public indecency.

Her sentence was reduced earlier this week to one year and suspended.

Mazboh left Cairo by plane late Thursday, her lawyer Emad Kamal said.

The lawyer said earlier this week that Mazboh would pay 30,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,670) in fines, AFP reported.

In the video, 24-year-old Mazboh complained of being sexually harassed by taxi drivers and men in the street, as well as poor restaurant service during the holy month of Ramadan and an incident in which money was stolen from her during a previous stay. In the post, Mazboh used profanity and directed insults at Egyptians she had encountered.

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Mazbouh’s allegations drew angry reactions online, with some Egyptians calling for her arrest and lodging a complaint against her.

Still, she released a second video insisting that she had not meant to insult the country as a whole.

Egyptian rights activists say they face the worst crackdown in their history under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, accusing him of erasing freedoms won in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.





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