The ICJ today called on the Egyptian authorities to quash the conviction of, and immediately release Hisham Geneina, a former judge and former head of the Central Auditing Authority in Egypt.
A Cairo military court convicted Geneina on Tuesday 24 April and sentenced him to five years in prison for “publishing false information harmful to the national security.”
The charges were related to a media interview in which Geneina criticized the interference of the Egyptian authorities in the election process and referred to the existence of documents that incriminate political and military leaders since 2011, including in cases of human rights violations.
The first hearing of the military trial took place on 18 April.
At the defense request, it was adjourned to 20 April so that the lawyers can have access the case file. The judgement was issued 4 days later.
“Genina’s detention, prosecution and conviction solely for peacefully and legitimately exercising his right to the freedom of expression is a testament to the length to which Egypt’s military and government would go to silence critical voices,” said Saïd Benarbia, ICJ MENA Director.
“After a grossly unfair trial before a military court that he should never have been prosecuted before in the first place, Egyptian authorities must stop the charade and immediately and unconditionally release Hisham Geneina,” he added.
Egypt – Geneina – News – Webstory – 2018 – ARA (Arabic translation in PDF)
Hesham Genena was arrested on 13 February following a media interview in which he claimed, among other things, that the former Chief-of-staff Sami Annan was in possession of documents incriminating the country’s political and military leadership.
One day before his arrest, the military spokesperson said that Genena’s statement casts doubts on the State and its institutions in the time where the armed forces are combating terrorism in Sinai.
He added that the armed forces will use their rights as provided for in the Constitution and the law to protect national security, and that they will refer the matter to the relevant authorities to take legal action.
According to information provided by his lawyer, Geneina is currently in solitary confinement in the Cairo Appeal Prison and his health condition is deteriorating due to injuries related to a physical attack against him on 27 January, for which he needs surgical intervention.NewsWeb stories