[QODLink]
Middle East
Exiled Egyptian activist sentenced
Saad Eddin Ibrahim was convicted for "tarnishing" the country's reputation.
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2008 10:25 GMT
Ibrahim wanted to return to Egypt but only with assurances he would not be arrested

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, an  outspoken critic of the Egyptian government, has been sentenced to two years in prison.

The sociologist and human rights activist was convicted for "tarnishing Egypt's reputation," the country's official MENA news agency said.

Shady Talaat, Ibrahim's laywer, said the ruling by a Cairo court was flawed and that he would use his right to appeal.

Ibrahim was granted bail of 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,890).

Ibrahim, who has been living in Qatar since June 2007, says he fears arrest if he returns to Egypt.

The case is among a series of lawsuits filed by members and loyalists of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) against government critics.

Accusations

Prosecuting lawyers Abul Naga al-Mehrezi and Hossam Salim took the case against Ibrahim to court and accused him of defaming the country after a series of articles and speeches on citizenship and democracy in which he criticised the Egyptian government.

Ibrahim said last month he wanted to return from exile, but only after assurances he would not be arrested.

According to the Egyptian independent daily Al-Masri Al-Youm, Ibrahim had written to the foreign ministry asking for guarantees that he would not be held on arrival.

The 69-year old went into exile citing a climate prejudicial to political opposition and human rights.

A vocal critic of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, Ibrahim was quoted in the Washington Post last year as saying he preferred to remain outside Egypt for fear of being arrested "or worse".

After meeting George Bush, the US president, in June last year in Prague he was called a "dissident" by the US leader.

Ibrahim, who founded the Ibn Khaldoun Centre for Development Studies, was sentenced in 2001 to seven years for, again, "tarnishing  Egypt's reputation," before being freed on appeal after spending 15 months behind bars.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.